It is incredibly difficult, in a culture that blames and shames people, for us to feel we’re not to blame.
Blame serves to distance people from the reality of traumatic events being indiscriminate in their nature. How scary is it for us all to be vulnerable to traumatic experience?
Of course we want to distance ourselves from this reality. All you need to set you up to have bad things happen to you is to be alive. That is the only requirement and therefore we are all possible victims of trauma.
People in general – not all, but most – are incredibly uncomfortable being around someone who is in traumatic breakdown.
Why is this?
- There is a very real physiological experience we can experience when with the agony of dysregulation symptoms (these are the symptoms where someone cannot calm themselves, who have heightened emotion as well as anxiety, heart racing, sweating etc.)
- People can feel that they will become somehow contaminated by that person’s distress. Certainly and perhaps subconsciously people can become anxious and bear witness to their own mental health vulnerabilities.
This ends up becoming a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ on a cultural level if you excuse the contradiction.
Though we are all susceptible to traumatic events happening we all also have the potential to change the atmosphere within which traumatised people find themselves.
We can create an environment of solidarity and support in traumatic breakdown, and in turn support healing.
We can all give energy to an atmosphere where if somebody becomes emotionally and psychologically injured, everyone is getting feedback that however difficult, it would never be utterly catastrophic i.e. no possibility of healing.
Whilst our discomfort in being around somebody else’s distress persists, within blaming we only persist in feeding back to ourselves the bare isolation we might be in someday.
So, actually the bigger and most influential picture is to try to overcome our own discomfort and reach out to others to help allay distress, isolation and disarray.
How cool is it that?
Within us all there is a power to heal others’ agony just by laying blame to rest and simple acts of kindness in thought as well as action change our environment for the better.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, share them in the comments box below.