Jody I think you should be commended for “pushing back” against the stigma and engaging ignorance. When reading the comments my 1st inclination was “don’t even bother trying to talk to someone who doesn’t get ANY of it”. And in all honesty that might have been what I would have chosen to do, were i in your place.
In reality, giving up on trying to explain my issues to people always made me feel WORSE! Kind of like “Never mind” and crawling back into a hole. I have great admiration for your willingness to confront and counter and try to educate.
As far as the attitude you dealt with from this person I would state the obvious to them: Be careful about opening your mouth about things you know little to nothing about. Until you walk in another person’s shoes, blah blah blah…
BUT..here is what I’ve witnessed. There are people who will not understand, but take you and your trauma at face value and TRY to imagine your issues. Then there are people who will (as this person did) attack. The ones who attack are often in denial of their OWN past issues. They THINK they have gotten over whatever is in their pasts, when in fact, it affects them DAILY. Their attitudes, their worldview, their habits and fears, their relationships. Everything. In reality, they may be very much like you, but choose to bury it and live in DENIAL. I know people like this and their view of EVERYTHING is warped. Their spouses, kids and friends suffer because this person refuse to look in the mirror. And they should be! It can be scary. But it can also be necessary.
Often it is not a trauma victim’s actions that are tools for “seeking attention”, but rather the person who attacks them in this manner, who is looking for people to notice them.
The bottom line for me is: Don’t attack Jody for having the GUTS to dig into the past that someone else created for her. She’s looking to heal from it. Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the same fortitude. Most people don’t. Most people won’t look outside themselves for help either, because they THINK they are in control and they know best.
The past is NEVER just the past. It’s the foundation that we had to build our current lives on and we usually don’t choose it. Our coping mechanisms and survival instincts can be faulty because of it. We can make terrible life choices based on our past, that will affect our future if left unchecked.
Bless you, Jody, for having the “balls” to look at it head on and take action most people would run from.