And I just… We really romanticize trauma. There’s this fantasy that traumatized people are just waiting for the right person to come along and fix them. That it even can be fixed. I believe that it can be let go of, to some degree. That we can move past pain and fear and damaging coping mechanisms. That, with work, little by little this pain can become less active, and less of a thing that controls us.
What I don’t believe is that we can erase the scars. I don’t believe that we ever lose the marks that our lives make on us. They will always be there. And there will always be the threat of slipping back into the folds of it. Trauma changes you in ways that are permanent. That cannot be moved past or gotten over. I know that sounds awful and depressing and nihilistic, but it’s the truth. Some trauma, if severe enough, can literally change the way that your brain functions - biologically.
Basically, the two things that I can’t stand about trauma/healing tropes are:
1: That another person can heal you. Because that’s not how it works. And it’s insulting, frankly, to take away a traumatized person’s agency like that. It’s also dangerous to tell people that they can get better if only they can find someone to love them enough. Because, no. That creates very unhealthy relationship patterns, and inevitably it leads to heartbreak and disappointment. Healing is a very personal thing, and it can only ever come from within. I’m not saying that having the support of friends and family doesn’t help, because of course it does. But that’s all they are - support.
2: That once a person undergoes some kind of healing epiphany, that’s it. They’re better. Problem solved. In reality? The effects of trauma tend to fade when we’re doing well - when we’re not being triggered. But when we’re stressed or unhappy or experiencing a crisis or maybe just waiting for the other shoe to drop because we know that something bad is going to happen sooner or later, those things resurface. And it’s always like that. Those things are a part of us. They will always be a part of us.”