“Moving On” – I am compelled to write about such a phrase or declaration or command or – whatever the intention of the speaker. Ahhh yes, these two words, for so long, smacked of alienation, silence, dismissal, empty, isolation. How I hated to hear this from “well-meaners” 😳
If you’ve uttered these words to anyone about getting on with his/her life… what was it you really meant about their “event” (trauma, loss, disappointment, etc..)? What was your intention? Wipe it clean like it never happened? Forget about it, everyone else has? Don’t think about it? Put a smile on cause you’re making us uncomfortable? Look happy so we can all relax because we feel helpless when you are hurting?
Yeesh! This all feels pretty self-serving and isn’t at all about the person in pain. Just about OTHERS needs…again….familiar. To me, there’s little worse than having someone suggest that I move on from ANYTHING that’s scarred me permanently.
Trauma is deeply personal. As long as it takes for us to assimilate and grow from it – is as long as it takes -is as long as it takes – is as long as it takes. When someone suggests that I might be “hanging on” to bad memories or not “getting on” with my life – these types of statements are very telling. To me, my experiences have illuminated what could be going on with THEM…
- More often than not, these “well meaners” are uncomfortable with YOUR level of sadness, dissatisfaction, anger (or basically, any emotion other than happiness).
- This has nothing to do with YOU. This is personal to them. It happens to be very telling about the harsh environment they were raised in.
- It may be uncomfortable for them to watch YOU in a depressed/anxious/sad/angry etc. state – as they cannot tolerate these emotions in THEMSELVES.
- They would feel better if YOU just stopped being true to what is going on inside of YOU. This comes with an attempt to somehow control YOUR experience, like, “cheer up”, or “none of that matters anymore”, or, my personal fav, “that was so long ago and has nothing to do with today” and even still, “choose to be happy”. LOL
It’s so very easy to offend someone who is grappling with a life of trauma. There’s no magic wand or spell. To be true to our own feelings, when they arise – and have that be ok with those around us…well, that’s like winning the lottery. But to feel stifled, wrong, embarrassed, or gagged is just adding more layers to an already bad situation.
Even if MOVING ON is #397 on your To-Do list OR not even on your list, you deserve respect and patience. Find, surround yourself with people who support you and hold space for you- especially when you are upset. Although this is clearly not a race, the only way to “win” is to know that only YOU know what is correct for your healing from loss and trauma.
Love the parts of yourself that are healed, are healing and even the parts of yourself that you hate or feel really dark and heavy, stubborn and prickly. Hold on to that FUCK YOU for as long as you need to- you earned it. Love the FU too. The armor that SELF LOVE and cocooning can provide… is absolutely invaluable. Love where you are, don’t let anyone bully you out of your truth. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, no matter what ANYONE thinks or says.