* Content Warning*
This week I’ve been reminded again, of the power of words. Encountering stories & words you connect with can be an incredible way to gain perspective and feel a little less alone. Though words were written to battle causes of suffering, they often have the power to make the struggle they fight seem too close. The line of triggering & empowering seems especially prominent recently. In the past months, I’ve become more practiced sharing my PTSD label. Letting those letters work to explain aspects of my life experience has proved useful, though it’s also acted as cover for silence since saying them means I can avoid putting many complicated, difficult truths into words. Currently, I’m being conscious in my efforts to confront difficult topics and hoping that addressing past struggles openly will help them merge into truths I can accept instead of memories I have to avoid. This means that a few times every day, I find myself weighing potential mobility vs. immobility that could occur from tackling (instead of hiding from) triggering topics
When you’ve known debilitating fear, confidence can be hard to come by. Without confidence, you lose the capability to feel you exist as a valid human. This has made me well acquainted with silence as a way of life. Because of this though, I have the benefit of seeing it’s a privilege to have the (not always present) ability to share words & an honor to have someone listen. Speaking about trauma seems conflicting, but the excruciating fear people experience when deciding to report reminds me of how crucial it is to allow volume on this subject. Since this is itself, an issue of volume, force &words being used as weapons, we can only hope to use those same elements to fight back in a very different & more powerful way. During times of struggle, the words I heard were heartbreaking and filled me with terror. They shouldn’t be repeated, yet still, repeat in my head more days than not, but it also seems clear that the strongest words have can also be the way out. The repetition and prominence of countless struggles this week can seem impossible to understand, but I do think this repetition is a sign we can hope for progress.
Originally published, here on October 18th, 2017