What #MeToo Did to People.
I will look back on this era of #MeToo when I am 50 and think many things: trials, recollections of hundreds of women and men, anger, hate, wounds old and new, traumas…but also bravery, strength, pain, growth and resilience.
A contagion such as this really enhanced and brought painful issues to light - unfortunately it came at many expenses and was often taken out of context, fading into the background just as it made its presence known out of vengeance and anger.
I am not saying much on what the intentions were, but there was a lot of hate, bullying, division, aggression and numbing of warmth and empathy. Of course, the media didn’t capture any of that if it existed.
In group therapy, discussing trauma of others has to be limited and treated delicately. Another person’s trauma can be another person’s pain. This may trigger other symptoms of PTSD or feelings of trauma in other people of the group. Which is why, if it happens, I honor it and gently remind them that processing the trauma and talking about what we can do to move forward is the best way towards healing. Because that is what most angry and hurt people want: to heal.
#MeToo re-traumatized a lot of victims and survivors. It brought them back to a place where they remember bottom was the only option and the darkness was safer than the light that showed the truth. Being alone in a corner was the safest place to be. A private and intimate secret was somehow pulled out into the open and being alone was once again validated even though hundreds of people claimed their own traumas. Those who have survived and proceeded to get help and move forward in their lives so the trauma doesn’t own them anymore, do so silently. And they hurt silently. PTSD is invisible and therefore the silence fits. #MeToo also helped people come forward and own their pain and perhaps they felt dignified and free. I hope that is the case.
I also hope those who have suffered in silence, or know of people who suffer in silence, are aware that there is help available in many forms.