Pity is an especially problematic and painful treatment, although it might seem very close to kindness. When someone hears of a problem we have, they may ask us with concern how we are doing; they will inquire if they can get us anything at all; they will say they imagine how awful things are.
To be pitied is to be placed in a category of loneliness and freakishness at the very moment when we really long for solace and confirmation of being human.
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Love is critical to help us keep faith with life and rescue us from severe mental illness.
In fact, anyone who has ever suffered from mental illness and recovers will do so...
When we are sick in our minds, we have this punishing sense of how terrible we are, even if we often can't point to a specific crime. We are appalled by, and unforgiving of, who we are.
In this situation, a loving companion can make all the difference. They don't try to persuade us of our worth. They make pleasant conversation about something that won't make us anxious. They can tolerate how ill we are and will stick by us. They love us for who we are rather than what we do.
Patronising pity can make the attention of others oppressive.
Loving companions do not judge us as beneath them. They don't oppress us by clinging to their belief in their own solidity and competence. Our companions indicate that they too might one day be in our place and suffer with and for us.
Trauma is a distressing experience that affects our mental and physical well-being. It is the unresolved emotional response to a frightening event that occurred.
Trauma shows up in our body in many different ways. It causes us to think illogically whenever we feel scared.
It may show up as:
As individuals we have the responsibility of holding ourselves accountable as to how we respond to traumatic experiences, how we heal, and grow out of trauma.
Healing from trauma is not easy work but it allows us to face our fears headstrong. We will also be able to provide our own needs instead of relying on other people to soothe us when distressed.
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