Talking about it

This comment is inspired by the [url= a student dies[/url] thread.

Years ago I went through some fairly traumatic events in my life that continued to have an impact afterwards. Basically I was caught up in the consequences, pretty inescapably. Eventually I decided to make a clean break and just get on with my life.

So I found myself in a new place, surrounded by new people, and in the process of getting to know each other I naturally shared the events that led to me being where I was. The result of this was invariably that people started analysing and advising, trying to sympathise, empathise, or god knows what. The only good it did was that after a while I realised that you can’t get closure on past events if you keep them alive by continually talking about them.

The trouble was that given even a hint of anything other than a happy history, a disturbing number of people would then start asking more and more questions to try and find out what the problem was, and then I would be forced to go through the whole analysis again and deal with their estimation of how traumatised I must be. The truth was that I was past the trauma and just wanted to get on with my life.

Their intentions were good, but it was really fucking annoying. And telling people that I was trying to look forward rather than back was just taken as further evidence that I had some repressed issue to deal with. “But you have to talk about it, you can’t just leave it buried in your subconscious festering like an open wound. You need to get rid of your emotional baggage,” and so on. And so, as politely as I could, I had to point out to people that having talked to a huge number of friends and family (who were qualified to make realistic suggestions for dealing with the problem) over the course of several years there was not really anything more to say. And in any case, what the fuck do you know about it? We’re talking about events that are completely outside your experience. All you can offer is sympathy, and I don’t need that.

There are times when people need to talk about traumatic events, sometimes a long time afterwards, but by and large this obsession with sharing seems pretty counterproductive to me. Shit happens. Deal with it. How do you think Mr Caveman would have got on if he had stopped for group hugs every time the bison he was hunting showed a bit of fight?

That may sound like a silly comparison, but we are the evolutionary descendants of beings that dealt with adversity every single day. We still encounter adversity every single day, unless we live such sheltered lives that we don’t know how to deal with events that are really just part of life. This belief that everyone needs counselling and support every time they suffer denies the resilience and strength of the human spirit, it makes people weaker.

Of course, anyone with a vested interest in maintaining the market for these expensive therapies and treatments would disagree with me. It’s like reminding Beechams that there is no cure for the common cold, denial time.

I will sincerely agree with you. There ARE times when you just wanna forget about it… and yes, life throws crap at you, and you’ve just gotta deal with it…

There are also people in the world who will CLAIM they have dealt with it, yet often end up bringing it up in every 2nd conversation.

Knowing if you’ve dealt with the problem or not is quite difficult. People’s perception on what seems to be sane or stable vary in a large manner.

PS. Nice to know a thread I made has inspired someone :wink:

Oh for Christ’s sake Loretta! So you were told to get a haircut. Get over it!

I think she will get everything over as long as she gets a pair of beautiful breasts.

Loretta, I agree.

I have ‘stuff’ I could be dealing with for the rest of my life, if I chose to. Too busy working, having fun with my friends, enjoying the interests I have and enjoying the fact that my life has taken me to a beautiful little island in the Pacific.