The Importance of Naming Someone Else’s Trauma
The hardest lessons we learn in life are often the ones we aren’t aware we’re even partaking in. For me, the awareness of such lessons took place as I found myself going from relationship to relationship and finding them all over way too soon. Like many women bred in a single parent household I learned the damage of being a fatherless child wasn’t as damaging as being raised by a married man-you see, playing second best would become as much a part of my identity as independence would.
You see, my views on relationships with men were shaped without me ever really having a say so on the matter. Although I want to be a mother and wife, my subconscious mind often reminds me that women are either left behind or must play second fiddle. As a result, much of my womanhood as it pertains to intimate relationships consisted of making myself available for men who were not available emotionally.
In trying to decipher through my past failed relationships, I embarked on a journey into vulnerability which required much self-actualization and reflection-a journey that has consisted of long nights full of a gamut of emotions. In this journey I realized the importance of naming someone else’s trauma. There have been far too many situations I’ve clung to as a result of not wanting to repeat the same mistakes of the women in my life, fighting so hard to avoid their mistakes I ran with open arms towards those very same mistakes.
While letting go is often met with a sentiment of being easier said than done there comes a time when you have to define yourself for yourself. That may consist of investing in a journal or engrossing yourself in a plethora of self-help books, or something entirely different. For some of us, it may even include spending time with ourselves reflecting on our mistakes, but more importantly falling in love with ourselves. Whatever the process, allow it to be one that you decide on. I’ve learned that it takes courage to embrace your mistakes and to learn from them. It takes even more courage to love yourself unapologetically but it’s far more important not to let someone else’s mistakes consume you.