“You’re doing it for attention.”
I couldn’t believe the words that came out of some people’s mouths as I was hollow inside, experiencing one of the worst feelings of my life—the death of a lover, a partner, a boyfriend.
The world kept spinning, and I was still hollow. Seven years later, it seems that having trauma has become a trend, but the same people who tell others to “get over it” are virtue signaling about how much they care about the world and what is happening to it.
I am overwhelmed.
But this time, it’s not with grief; it’s with anger, and I realize I need to check myself.
Yes, I am thankful that people have the courage to speak up about their past, their challenges, and their differences. It’s wonderful that we can share ourselves, but what is missing is the truth behind the action involved in overcoming and living with this pain.
The world will not stop for us. We cannot erase memories. Blocking out people and things that upset us is not courageous; it’s escapism.
So, how do we overcome real, true trauma in a world that wants to make pain a trend?
We need to log off and do the work. There were days when I couldn’t get myself out of bed because I didn’t want to feel anymore. And when I would eventually awaken, I would drink to try to forget. I still have the memories, the pain, and the words spoken by others inside me, and I am glad I chose not to fully escape from them. And an important thing I learned is that we never fully heal.
The modern-day way of dealing with trauma is to erase it, block it, and move on, but at the same time, these same people want others to acknowledge their pain. I’m not a therapist, but I would hope we don’t find healing through this trendy social media way of calling people out, blocking them, and then pretending we have moved on. Trauma isn’t something we earned or even asked for—it’s not about the likes and acknowledgment. This, to me, is a form of escapism that will eat us up inside later.
I tried to escape the pain by socializing and staying out late, but it was building up inside. I would explode on people who didn’t get it. People wanted to have a good time; they didn’t want my talk of my deceased boyfriend to ruin their night.
People who find the pain of others to be a burden now act as social justice warriors of the 21st century and post as if they are leading a civil rights group—the hypocrisy is unreal.
But, I had to learn that no one would make me feel better. I couldn’t even make myself feel better. The modern-day philosophy is to make other people adjust to our comfort level, which is not reality. The only thing that somewhat remotely had me teetering on the lines of healing was lying in my own uncomfortableness.
We don’t ever heal, but we become more alive and present. We become different people, whole in ourselves but for no one else to justify. Life may be harder for us, but it will be fulfilling nonetheless.
Trauma will only seem to matter when it happens to someone else, and this can feel hurtful when we are struggling with our own. I felt the need to acknowledge my suffering in an effort to make those around me understand where I was coming from, but it usually ended up making me feel worse. It’s no one’s job to feel what we are feeling, but the pain we carry with us will change the way others may view us, and we need to let our ego go in order to make improvements.
A lot of people get their moral building blocks from social media, and social media purely serves the ego. We do not heal by creating and reciting posts. We do not heal by gaining likes. We do not heal just because there are some people who may understand us. We never fully heal, but we may overcome the struggle between denying our pain and screaming it out loud if we drop the ego and just be.