How to Stand Beside Someone with Trauma Issues

Stand Beside Someone man looking at concerned woman
Standing beside someone with trauma is a sign of love. Break the stigma for victims of violence!!

How to Stand Beside Someone with Trauma Issues

TRIGGER WARNING: Mental, Physical, and Sexual Abuse 

I am not a therapist or doctor, but I live with someone that suffers from trauma issues, and so yes, I believe that gives me some practical, real-world knowledge about this issue.    

Stigma

So, the first thing I believe is that you need to know that what our society has done to create a negative stigma about people with trauma issues is appalling.

So many people turn and walk away or say” sorry for your luck” and walk away because they look at these victims as damaged goods that they are not able to be helped, or people that you need to stay away from cause they all drain you and don’t help themselves. In even some cases, our society believes they brought this all on themselves.

This is madness to think anything like this. I have supported someone that was “Raped,”…. Yes, “Raped” by a very close family member that was supposed to be one of the most trusted people in her life.

And since it started at such a young age, please tell me what that sweet innocent child did to ask for such neglect and abuse. To say that she or anyone that is a victim of these traumas asked for it is just plain idiocy.

Society's standards

So now that we understand that people with trauma issues did not say, “Please treat me like dirt.” The next thing we need to understand is that, for instance, in my wife’s case, she was

“Raped” is not easy for many victims to say. Again, our society has given a negative connotation to that word to many looking down on someone that has been raped as being below society’s standards.

I, for one, find it sickening and totally absurd. It’s incredible how people will do so many things to build themselves up at the expense of others.

Personally, I have found from victims that I worked with in law enforcement and then the years I have been with my wife that they have unbelievable courage that I wish I could have even a tiny part of.

Every day issues

So now that you understand that victims are just that, victims, that those that are raped are not the ones with the problems, the problems came from what was done to them, and they did not ask for what happened, let’s move on.

Helping is not a simple task—victims of Trauma deal with these issues daily. When I wake up, it’s just another day for me, but it’s not so easy for someone with trauma issues.

It may be a horrifying morning. They may have had nightmares or flashbacks, or something may have happened this morning that reminded (triggered) them of a time when something happened.

Be ready to help

You must be ready to help at any time, and the most important thing is that the person must be able to trust you to be able to talk to you.

There are going to be many times that when you ask what is wrong, you’ll get “Nothing’s wrong” you’ll have to see if they are ready to talk about it.

It may have been something horrible they remembered, and they need time before they will be able to talk about it, and then there are times that you can push a bit and get an answer.

Helpful tips

Next thing, never, never, never ever say well, “That’s silly” or “Oh, is that all?” DID I MENTION NEVER TO SAY THESE THINGS ? By downgrading what they are feeling, you are downgrading them, and they will think that if they come to you, you’ll only see it as a waste of your time to help them, so they will stop coming to you.

Believe me, you must think about this from their perspective, and that’s not easy. I mean, genuinely think about being raped, attacked, beaten, or having been told over and over, not once or even occasionally but for years and years, that you are worthless if you understand that you’ll approach your friend or spouse a whole new way and with a very different attitude.

Conclusion

These are what I call the basics. Look, it can take years before you truly can, even in a small way, understand what they went through, and even longer before you realize what they are feeling.

I never say I know how you feel to my wife because I don’t, period. I try. Still, I can only say that I am here for you, and together we will make it through anything.

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