Jason Kander and his wife Diana published an excellent article over at Crooked Media today, Five Lies We Tell Ourselves About Trauma. It’s 100% relevant to the work we all do because it applies equally to the issue of secondary trauma, which is something we should be discussing far more in our field. It would be a great topic for an upcoming staff meeting–particularly as a way to check in with the team.
There’s a lot that resonates, but one thing in particular:
I made the mistake of trying to rank—and therefore disregard—my own trauma for many years, and that only made things worse. If something happened and you haven’t felt right since, then you should address it. To quote a friend, “Somewhere there’s a vet who was in the first wave at the D-Day invasion telling himself to get over it because he was all the way in the back of the landing craft.”
Thinking “other people have it worse” doesn’t actually diminish your own trauma, it just diminishes your power to heal, because your brain only knows what you experienced. Whether it’s combat, a serious accident, or an assault, there are many possible sources of trauma. Telling yourself to get over it, or thinking “I shouldn’t let this bother me,” will get you nowhere.
Read the whole article here.
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