There is trauma and there is TRAUMA. These days, everyone seems to be engaging in a race to out-victimize each other, what with all these “trigger warnings” I keep hearing about. Is self-loathing a form of trauma? Yes. But how can we get the non-self-loathing, high-self-esteem public to understand and acknowledge this?
I know that I have suffered, and my mother suffered, but we suffered at our own hands, because basically we were crazy, if pointless lifelong self-loathing is insanity. But what right have I to sob about my suffering when I know how many people have suffered, and are still suffering, much more obvious and visible traumas such as physical illness or destitute poverty? Here in my middle-class life, with my pleasant husband. Ooooh, I have suffered.
Yet I have. This is my current quandary: trying to understand, and explain, that for some people — in this case, people who hate themselves — courage can mean just getting out of bed, getting dressed and walking out the door. Courage for soldiers or the seriously ill is one thing. Courage for us is another. But it’s still courage.