‘Just get over it.’ Those four simple words are like jumping into freezing water, or chopping vegetables and accidentally chopping your finger, or grabbing a plate, only to realise it’s only just come out of the oven. The effects are similiar. There’s this entire body shock, then the realisation of pain, then shock as you process it, then pain again. It’s a fast process, but the pain is all encompassing. A moment so slight of wishing to god you could go back and undo what you did/un hear what you heard. Because like the scar, these words are ever going to haunt you. To make you question yourself, question the person, leave a pain so deep, break a trust, hurt, never really leave your already broken soul.
So why must people utter those words?
Why must time frames be allocated to trauma and grief? Who is to clarify the definition of trauma and/or of grief? Does a car accident involving a fatality get allocated a certain amount of recovery time? Child abuse another? Death of a relative depends on how close the relative and cause of death? Who possibly thinks that they are entitled to make that call?
Trauma and grief are personal journeys. They are complex. They have many variables. If a person chooses to share their story, their truth, they deserve at the very least an acknowledgement.
We are not all equipped to deal with the horrors and the realities of the world. We are all to an extent on our roads. Sometimes I have heard terrible things, not always from close friends. Instinctively, I would love to put my hands over my ears. Please, save me hearing how awful your journey has been. But I would never do that. Because a persons voice deserves to be heard. They have chosen to speak their story and I will listen. I have nothing to say, I can’t help, I feel I have nothing to offer. But I can say, I HEAR YOU. I can say KEEP GOING, YOU ARE SO STRONG. Because those are the words most people want to hear if nothing else.
To suggest that someone should simply get over something, is insulting. It’s degrading. It’s not hearing their pain, it’s not acknowledging the depths that they have been to, the fight and the struggles that they have. It’s not acknowledging that they lost their power and control and have fought to get it back. It’s not identifying the number of tears cried, the number of tears still not cried, the nightmares, the screams, the stifled screams, the residual damage; medical, psychological, emotional, physical, mental.
It’s tantamount to walking over a dead body in the street. If you don’t acknowledge it’s a person, that that person was a living breathing person, that had a family, that had thoughts and feelings, experienced joy, and sadness – you, yourself have the lost the ability to connect with people on such a basic fundamental level.
Are you too full of self? Are you simply not interested? Surely no one believes they have the god given right to allocate time frames to a persons profound experiences of trauma and grief?
As I go along in my journey, gradually I let more people in. I’m fortunate. I have good friends in my life. Kind, understanding souls. But then I come across one that reminds me, some people change. Kindness and warmth isn’t a trait that lasts forever in some people. And although it saddens me, it’s another lesson for me.
Perhaps if those words came from someone I didn’t have higher expectations of, it wouldn’t grate so much.
So no, I won’t just get over everything that’s happened to me. I deserve my time. I deserve to find peace. I deserve to be true to myself. And I pity anyone that has the misfortune to experience grief or trauma around someone like that.