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General You told me your stories. Gave me your sins. And I carried them.


I don’t think I’ve come across a better, or more concise, reason for why we (sufferers) don’t talk, or for why we (supporters) stay.

Understanding & Obligation? Are seeeeeriously linked, unless something else supersedes it. Something else with weight. Like parent/child weight.

I could very easily be wrong. Often am.

Your thoughts?
I might be missing your point, but I really like the title and it really resonated.

There are probably a lot of variations on the theme of not talking. I had a few conversations with my old T about people "thinking they understood" when they really didn't. He said that it's really hard for people to understand what things actually seem like from my side of that fence. That people DO think they get it, but, unless they've experienced Trauma of their own, they probably only THINK they get it. He said it's one of the hardest things about training T's, that you almost have to traumatize them so they get it. And the way he said that.....he seemed to be thinking about something long ago and far away and it made him sad. There's power in these stories.....

Another thing it makes me think of. In "Lord of the Rings", there's a point fairly early on where a couple young hobbits (Merry & Pippin) Have followed along even though they weren't supposed to. And they get caught. And the wiser folk present have a conversation about what to do with them. Someone says that "they don't know what they're getting into." Gandalf says to let them come. He says that none of them really know what they're getting into and that even if they knew, they'd want to come and feel horrible about having to stay behind. (Tolkien put that MUCH better than I did.) That bit struck me when I first read it and it's never really left me. It's interesting how often it comes up in life.

And then..... From my side of this particular fence, some words, some stories, feel like they have a magical power. To me, this is intensely real. Those stories have already hurt me, I feel an obligation to keep them from hurting anyone else. And I feel that strongly, to the very depths of my being. People don't get what they're asking if they ask me to tell them those stories. (But my T got it. And there are people here who get it too.) Now I know that some of that feeling of those stories having a power to destroy aren't true..... Some of that prohibition might be based in real experiences. Some of it probably isn't. It's hard to know where they line is. What I do know is you tell those stories and it can change things and not always for the better. Usually for the worse. And, maybe it's not my job to protect someone who wants to hear, but I feel like it is because I have a better idea what they're asking than they do. On the other hand, maybe I just let them come along on the journey anyway.......

I don't know how you talk about this, really, @Friday , but it's probably worth thrashing around the subject a bit.
ya bout that. I tell you my story, it upsets you, and now it's my job to make sure you are ok. Then chances are you will get all annoyed because you know something you don't want to know, you aren't sure how to connect it to what you already know about me, and it makes you feel bad that you don't know how to respond. And somehow that is now my fault for actually answering you when you asked "just be honest with me"

Rinse and repeat. 😖
you have to ask. Even then I say “are you sure?” cause telling someone brings them into the circle of trust. You can be ten kinds of an asshole and i dont care, measure that foregiveness in miles, but betray or belittle or cast doubts on my story and my condition after you asked to know? Forgiveness privileges revoked. The circle of trust is broken, and it was me and my big mouth that caused it.
next time, dont tell. next time, dont ask, asshole.
I think the idea of telling somebody something so horrifying that it traumatizes them is very much a sufferer idea that isn’t really a thing to supporters. My sufferer has never traumatized me with any of his stories.

Of course I also don’t feel the need to make his traumatic experiences all about me or my feelings. That seems like a very drama-queen thing to do, and if somebody does that they suck.
One of the things I really appreciate about @Sweetpea76 is that she knows how to take care of herself and she doesn't feel some kind of obligation to fix everything. You can acknowledge someone's pain without trying to make it your own pain, and it seems like she does that. (And I'd guess sometimes it's not easy.)
Of course I also don’t feel the need to make his traumatic experiences all about me or my feelings.
This "of course" made me smile. My own experience is that "telling someone something" (and I've NEVER gone into details) goes one of two ways most of the time. The first way, people have a melt down about how awful the information makes THEM feel. That's what my parents did when I, as an adult, gave them the barest minimum of information. That was against my better judgement and in a stupid attempt to honor the wishes of a friend who really thought i should tell them & then he went & died on me...... It was a short conversation. There was a LOT of drama. It was all about how bad THEY felt. No one even asked if I was ok. LOL And, it was never mentioned again. Well, my dad asked a couple times who the perp was, but that was it. He guessed some. He guessed wrong. Trust me, telling him only would have made things worse.

The other thing that happens is people then look at you as "damaged goods". I'm not making that up supporters, it really happens. For some people, you become some poor wounded thing who needs to be cared for. (Kind of makes me gag if you want to know the truth.) OR, they see you as "dangerous", in my case because "people who were molested go on to be molesters". And, we've all heard about "crazy vets" right? (Do we have a "sigh" emoji? We probably do but I'm too lazy to look.)

From my side of the fence, something I think we need to consider is who we're talking to. If it's family, then it's maybe people who feel some responsibility for whatever happened or maybe people who actually HAVE responsibility for whatever happened. (By that I mean they have issues of their own that impacted the situation.) Those factors aren't neutral. If you're talking about someone that you have an adult relationship with NOW, well then consider that sometimes opposites kind of DO attract. There are people out there who are pathological "fixers" and they might be attracted to those who "need fixing". And, maybe it feels good to have someone "care" about you for a change. I suppose sometimes that works but it seems like a pretty complicated road to me.

Something I've seen here, but never in real life is apparently there are relationship partners who think you someone OWE them details. They seem upset that "their sufferer" won't talk about stuff. I don't get that. Purely don't get it and would be interested in an explanation if someone has one.

BTW @Friday , let's pick apart that obligation piece a little. I'm not sure I get what you mean. Maybe it's where I'm at in life these days (alone? LOL) "obligation" isn't something I'm aware of much, beyond work anyway.
I'm not sure I understand the question entirely either (I am sorry I can be dense!!)

I agree that supporting info itself isn't traumatizing, but true empathy of course has feelings for the other's well-being. But feeling feelings isn't by nature traumatizing but rather living, I think?

I think boundaries are there for anyone not to have to reveal things, or to choose to reveal things, and hopefully it's based on common sense, reality and trust. As they say if you can count the number of really good friends at the end of your life on your thumbs you've done really well. But I think it's about having the capacity also to understand, to communicate rather than mind read, to be compassionate vs jealous, to be outside of one's self (making it about yourself as @Sweetpea76 said), but still being able to talk as it effects one another.

Idk that is too many words for what I mean. It seems there is a tendency to want to box things (and people) in to categories for so many things in life, or to want to follow set rules like a recipe, and yet much of life involves risk, intuition and pivoting. When all is said and done we can't solve others' problems or they solve ours but we and they can be a positive or bright spot or at least neutral. No one is required to share, but life's kind of short to either not be authentic or be blamed for being authentic. I too would never share if I thought the above criteria would be traumatizing, misunderstood, misrepresented, used against me, or devalued. (Very very few I actually share my own private info with). JMHO of course.

ETA I always think if I were at the end of my life, was it worth it? Could I say it's right in my heart who or what I let go or invested in? Not only with context, but knowing myself and who and what is important to me. What is true to myself as that's who's body and heart and head I have!
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