Honest self-assessment requires a level of bravery that not many can summon the courage to go through. We are a society of convenience and sedentary lifestyles; an I'll have fries with that mindset. It takes determination and struggling with the deepest depths of pain/fear/sadness to really let go of the perfect self you have created or have been molded into creating. Looking at your shadow in the eyes and doing the work to become bigger than the darkness it's kept you in is a journey worth celebrating. It takes even more fortitude for one to document via any creative outlet the journey to hell and back. They put their shame and gut-wrenching honesty on display for people to see just how truly lost they were & are, just to be free of the chains that are cutting so deep into their souls.
It's unspoken but obvious that trauma is a subject many shy away from, readers and writers alike. It's taboo, it's unspoken, it scares people. It opens the door to the possibility that this world really is broken, and scary things really do exist. There's a victim stigma that follows the casualty of one's loss of self to trauma. It's a vicious domino effect; if you talk about your trauma, you are labeled as needing pity, being theatrical, craving attention, delusional. You might scare people off if you find your voice, as some will forever believe the world is full of rainbows and unicorns. People might become uncomfortable.
Unless you have survived a traumatic event or have closely known someone that has you probably aren't aware of the cognitive dissonance that occurs in that person just to survive. They become a robot just to move monotonously through everyday occurrences while internally they are in a constant hyper-vigilant state. A good example is a war veteran and fireworks. While most of the public receives great joy from annual 4th of July celebrations, a war vet that survived an IED that killed most of his unit might cower, have flashbacks of seeing his sergeants body parts scattered, and will most likely experience fight or flight upon hearing the explosions. A car backfires, sending them into an absolute panic.
The trauma they experienced is actually scattered memories that intrude the consciousness. It is a narrative that is impossible for them to understand. There are loopholes in their experience filled with associations of danger, thus triggering the reactions.
James Pennebaker had a theory that there was power in writing when it came to trauma. He observed through research and studies that when one had gone through a traumatic event, if the affected wrote daily for 20 minutes they were able to make sense of the events the conscious was blocking for protection. Allowing oneself to write freely, with no sugar-coating the experience, freed up the memory from an indistinguishable experience into one that they could start to make sense of, acting as a catalyst to personal growth and healing. It requires dedication, willingness to trudge the deepest scars, and reflection, but the benefits observed from writing ranged from an extreme boost in overall health to the complete disappearance of triggers that held one back from fully living a purposeful life.
We, as a society and human race, need these stories. We need for those that have or are going through the darkest depths of hell to know that there is a way out. For their stories are the ones that provide the substance that survival can be accomplished. They are proof that transformation is possible if one wants it bad enough.
Expression is a connection of language and language is how one gets free from their mind.
So, I will write.
I deserve to be fully healed, as do the millions of others out there trapped in their own personal hell.