Sometimes it feels like I’m the only person inside this traumatized world in which I live. I suppose to some extent that’s true, because it’s my personalized, traumatized world.
But today I was shaken from my solitary vision and saw that, like so many other people, a close friend of mine has also experienced something traumatic — different from my own experience, but damaging and life-changing, nonetheless.
I tried to show as much compassion as I could. I love this friend very much, and it hurt me to hear about such deep pain and suffering.
The lesson I learned is two-fold: Many people live with trauma and, like me, hide it from the world because they’re afraid of what other people might think. But the truth is, more often than not our friends will be supportive and helpful, and they’ll do their best to listen and offer what help they can.
And the second part is this: I was in the role of supporter today, and while my friend’s anguish was hard to take, I know that I was really present and gave everything I could. It’s a role I embraced, just as I embraced my friend with a hug at the end of our conversation.
And that felt good.