“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss.
Having associations with a trauma survivor is itself a task, and genuinely loving them would obviously be a herculean enterprise. People who has faced trauma, at any point in their lives, have faced zero rights over their body, mind and personal life or public life. Their lives are a series of setbacks which may range from physical torture to mental abuse to financial crisis to the crisis of life and death. While they may have survived through all their shit, their scars are battle scars, to be revered and honestly loved.
In trauma survivors lie deep insecurities, anxiety issues, sometimes bipolar behavior and even suicidal tendencies which haven’t recovered as such. To be able to understand such people and their anxieties, one needs great amount of patience and real, long term commitment. For people who already think of themselves as undeserving of love and care, anyone who presents them a short term paradise is also a villain.
However, “God wants you to be delivered from what you have done and from what has been done to you – Both are equally important to Him.”― Joyce Meyer, Beauty for Ashes: Receiving Emotional Healing. This logic needs to be sewed with the needles of compassion and empathy in those trauma survivors. They need to be reassured again and again. Certainly that requires immense pool of love and generosity, both of which have to be founded on honesty.
A girl who has been ripped off of her own sanity and sense of self cannot just be loved like any other human being.
Loving her would require a constant engagement and laboring years of commitment. Since a girl liker her has refused to break down on impact and is a ‘survivor’, she is already pretty strong. However, her strength is latent and needs to be rediscovered through affection. But the thing about trauma is that it never really goes away completely. It may bangs in the middle of the night. For example, she may be have slept peacefully but can be woken up by demons of the past or even recent present and destroy her again. The amount of effort with such people depends on your own emotional availability. If you are not ready to commit to such a task, do not even offer small talk to the person.
Trauma survivors are hungry for love and acceptance like all other humans, just more.
Personally stating, after a series of epiphanic moments in my life, when I realized I was being molested and harassed by my own relative, I felt so disgusted not at him but myself. Moreover, this made me believe that I am undeserving of love. Therefore, any sort of attention made me crazily cautious and sent me further deep into my shell. If i didn’t have friends enough caring and empathetic to make me realize how wrong this was, I would have dumped myself and left the course of life pretty soon.
Trauma is not always the roaring voice.
It is sometimes a sneaky thief stealing away our sense of self and loved ones eventually. “It’s the feeling that she is a 100,000 piece puzzle of black and grey and everyone staring at the mess realizes that putting her back together is simply not worth the effort.” Loving a person like this also involves zero patronizing. You cannot mock their struggles or belittle them or make them feel sorry for what they have become. That is not love.
You need to be comfortable enough to give them their sweet little time to recover. It is a fact lesser known, that people with trauma in their past usually make a friend out of trauma. When they have recovered, they feel abysmally empty. The void is a lack of brain activity that was earlier very active. Suddenly they need another thing to hold onto and that is where love has to be given to them, boundlessly.
So, when a person trusts you enough to show their battle scars, don’t make them regret it. Love and light!