Those with severe abuse histories – like I have – from an 18 year childhood of trauma – where do we go to tell our stories when something ‘comes up’? Calling our ‘need’ a ‘mental health – mental illness’ need is a JOKE! But, then before I bother to get my proverbial dander in a fluff I remember, as much as we Americans might like to pretend we are an advanced representation of a civilized society – well – that assumption is also a JOKE.
A friend of mine (who is poor) had a tooth pulled nearly two months ago. She had a dry socket, had that treated, but a month later the hole in her jaw has not healed. While she has no pain, splinters of her removed tooth are still coming to the surface – something does not appear right here.
As we spoke yesterday my own memory of my difficulties with dentistry that no doubt originated with my experiences at age 17 came to my mind. I did not speak of them to my friend. I didn’t need to – doing so was not necessary or appropriate. BUT ….
This first link leads up to my dentist story, I believe. I wrote it some time ago and have no desire at this moment to reread this piece. This second link follows this part of my story up to the minute I walked out of my home or origin a final time.
In thinking about the difference between a so-called ‘mental health’ center providing assistance of one kind or another to people who have nearly ALWAYS suffered from inadequate parenting and early childhoods of extreme trauma, I believe that naming these people as SICK as a result of how traumas affected and changed them during their early critical windows of development is the wrong way to go about helping create positive change in people’s lives.
If I ran the world – and what I envision as the direction a more advanced society will move toward – a network of what I might call Community Compassion Centers could better serve the needs of survivors (and everyone becomes a survivor of some kind of trauma throughout the span of a lifetime). These centers would have no stigma attached to them whatsoever. They would be grassroot centers that are designed to meet the everyday needs of PEOPLE.
In my reality, with my history, wishing yesterday that I had such a center to stop by so that I could have talked a bit about my own dentistry story would have been for me simply an everyday need. Dealing with the residues of severe early trauma and abuse is an everyday process for me. Nothing about my need is a ‘mental illness’ issue.
If people need prescription drugs – those people do need medical attention and no difference need be made between those needs and any other medical need.
As far as so-called therapy goes, the older I get and the more I look around (I am 60) at society, the more I understand that nearly every single person I encounter would benefit from some specific forms of EDUCATION about how to be a healthier, happier person – and thus a better person within the society they live in.
There ARE a few people who I meet who were NOT abused, neglected or traumatized as children. In this small town area I live in, it is many of these people who are the best resources for this entire community. They CARE and they ACT to help others in effective and healthy ways.
Then there are a whole lot of other people who are suffering – even if they do not think about their life in this way. So many people cannot possibly afford or access so-called therapy – and I am not convinced that it is therapy that very many people need.
What we need are LISTENERS. Because my thinking is grounded in ‘attachment theory’ I would say what we need are RESONATORS!
A resonator to me is a person who is capable of listening with appropriate empathy (healthy empathy) coupled with compassion and an ability to communicate to the person they are listening to – resonating with – that they FEEL (appropriately) what the ‘talker’ is saying.
There would be no outside belief that anyone needs to ‘be changed’. People change because they want to and because they believe that they can. People change for the better as their heart grows – like a beautiful flower opening to fantastic new possibilities.
Humans give these hopes to one another. We are designed to do this. We are a social species. Many of us do not know how to be in direct, open and entirely honest caring relationship with one another. Many people are – quite frankly – allergic to knowing the truth about their past and how that past is influencing them in the present.
No games. That is my best motto. I never had a chance in my first 18 years of life to learn how to play games. Truth is truth – and I always function best with people who know their own truth and are not one bit shy about being who they are – without trying to change anyone else.
I suppose there is more I could write on this topic, but the day is gorgeous and I want to be outside in my garden. Best hopes for everyone’s fantastic day!
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