Silence and (Non-)Trauma

There are different kinds of silence.

There is peace, an absence of fighting. Phew.

There is sullenness. Words are simmering just beneath the surface.

There is the lack of hustle and bustle. A store goes out of business. The liveliness is gone.

There is also the absence of acknowledgment. A trauma has occurred and saying something would make it real. Advice not given. Encouragement not happening. The end of pretending that a relationship exists. Hoping for love from people that never had it to give in the first place.

I have been going to a psychoanalyst for over a year now. I have learned so much. The big lesson: I need to learn to love myself and be kind to myself at all times. Why is this so hard? Because I had zero role models. I keep feeling like my situation is so much better than other people’s because I have not been been beaten, raped, or anything obviously traumatic. My shrink points out that having certain basic needs go unmet is traumatic in and of itself. I was fed, clothed, and sheltered. My parents played their roles as best they understood. But then I go out into the world and see parents that actually encourage their kids and my heart breaks. The further I got educationally, the less support I got from my dad. Now he says he is proud of me and it makes me a little nauseous. Now he likes to take credit for how I was raised, when my brothers and I actually raised ourselves and were expected to solve our own problems. Ick. I am physically revulsed by it.

It’s not that bad things happened. It’s all the good, right, absolutely essential things that did not happen that created the problems.

When I turn off the TV, the silence is there. I am familiar with the silence. I know silence. I have spent most of my life running from it. And I’m tired of running.

About cdhoagpurple

I live in Michigan. I was Greek Orthodox (and previously Protestant), but now am more Buddhist than anything. I am single now (through the till-death-do-you-part clause of the marriage contract). My husband Barry was a good man and celebrated 30 years in AA. I am overly educated, with an MBA. My life felt terminally in-limbo while caring for a sick husband, but I am free now. I see all things as being in transition. Impermanence is the ultimate fact of life. Nothing remains the same, good or bad.

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