Today was an emotional day for me. It’s expected and has become my “norm” for almost three years now. Thankfully, I also had a session with my true confidant… my therapist. She has held me down the entire time so she knows exactly what to do when I am in this place of uncertainty and pain. She simply just states the facts that I do have a lot going on, so with that, these days are expected.
We began to talk about my story… for those following my blog, you may recall that I wrote a blog last night about sharing your story (click to read here) and being careful who you share it with.
Well today, it became even more obvious to me that you really don’t know a person’s story! Words, songs, sounds, gestures, smells … all of these can be triggers that revert someone who has experienced something traumatic back to that hurtful place. What may seem normal to you puts someone else in a very dark place!!
There is a young lady who is extremely uncomfortable when given a compliment. Now, you may say, “what??” or “who doesn’t like to be complimented?” …. But she doesn’t like it. She hates it as a matter of fact. It is so bad that if you were to say something like, “wow, your boots are off the chain!” or “I love your shirt, that color looks really good on you.” … she would flinch up so tight and just go into this zone of blocking out everyone and everything around her. She mentally checks out, and starts shivering. But before you judge her, listen to her story.
She was once in a prison camp where she was trafficked against her will. She still has the numbers burned on her arm where they branded her, and they chose her specifically because she was pretty. So after years of being tortured as a result of her looks, she is now extremely uncomfortable by compliments. Compliments are a trigger to her painful past. She doesn’t want to be pretty or attractive. She lives everyday uncomfortable in her own skin.
When I heard this story, I cried my eyes out, just like I am crying now. To hear that someone could go through something so horrendous, and is now in a fight for her life just to live! That is so heart breaking. Every day is a struggle just to get out of bed. Every breath taken is physically draining. Every smile is a challenge. Every good feeling is followed by ten bad ones. There is pain behind every smile. A pain and a story that you could not imagine.
I am in that same fight! You just never know a person’s story. So please don’t be so quick to judge someone because they act a little different than you.