Society tends to look at themselves as being supportive and offering unbiased support of others.
However, there are sly ways that people are often unsupportive that can come across as being “holy”, “protecting themselves” or the like.
Phrases like “There are two sides to ever story”. “I am just tired of the drama.” or “We just need to not give them a platform.” are phrases that while can sound good, are really silencing techniques.
I recently heard a critique of the book above, that was similar to this. Basically, the storyline was so depressing to them, it was worthless. Instead they went and gave their time to something that had no depressing info in it at all.
I get it. We like to pretend these kind of things don’t happen. We like to pretend that Tara Westover was being dramatic. It is easier than realizing this is happening in our own communities and before our eyes.
I know when I have shared experiences I have had, I get a couple of reactions. It is either pity or possibly scorn. Another reaction can be that it is depressing and I am bringing the mood down.
I would love to see people think before they speak on that. Do you have any idea how hard it is for someone to speak on traumatic topics like this?
It is your choice whether to read it or not. It is not your choice to ignore it. When you stick your head in the sand and think, “I can’t handle it.”, you ignore others that are in your community. You may think it is “just a book”, “just a story”. For many people, a book may be the story they can’t write themselves.
You don’t know how many people can relate to “just a book” and hearing it that it was “dramatic” might be insulting those that are your readers.
But, if something is bringing up too much from the past for you, it could be that this is a healthy response to have your memories triggered in a way that means you need to deal with them.
Get a therapist.
Make time to see one.
But don’t shut other people down because you can’t handle drama. That downplays their experience. Be honest instead. Even using the word “drama” to describe a situation that is traumatic for someone is really painful.
“This is traumatizing for me. I am not able to handle this now.” is a healthier statement.
A better one can be, “I am so sorry for what has happened to you. However, I feel I am not the best person to talk to about it since I have my own traumas. Can I give you a referral to someone I think would be good?”
Learn to think carefully as you speak. It will bear more fruit than the flippant ways of dealing with people with traumatic pasts.