Step outside your bubble…
Not physically. But for one moment try to put yourself in someone else’s place. Over the past few months I’ve been feeling heavy because I’ve heard so many people discount another person’s experience because that’s not how it happened to them personally.
I’ve met veterans who say there’s no such thing as PTSD because they never had it. I’ve met women who don’t believe in domestic violence because the first time their ex-boyfriend threatened them, they walked away. I’ve met men who think alcoholism or addiction is a choice because they took prescription medication and didn’t get hooked. I’ve met business owners who found entrepreneurship much easier than others and so they call struggling entrepreneurs lazy or clueless. I’ve met people who flat out call others liars and losers because they didn’t have the same outcome in a similar endeavor.
On the flip side, I’ve known people who have triumphantly pulled themselves from some very dark and difficult situations and they judge others for not being able to escape that life as they did or, just as bad, they judge others for not knowing that life at all.
What makes your life… your experience… more valid than the next? Just because you don’t understand someone’s journey and you don’t identify with where they are or the path they’ve taken doesn’t mean that it’s invalid.
Please, let’s all make an effort to realize that we can live in the same space as someone else and not have an identical journey. If you’ve never suffered, or loved someone who’s suffered, from addiction or mental illness or failure, that is awesome and I’m truly happy that you have not had to face those battles. However, please don’t discount someone else who has faced or is still facing those demons. Your experience is no more or no less important than theirs.
For more information about PTSD (it’s not just vets!): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
For more information about domestic violence: https://www.thehotline.org/is-this-abuse/abuse-defined/
For more information about addiction: https://apcbham.org/addiction/
For more information about mental illness: https://www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-conditionsWishing everyone a better understanding of this crazy world we all share.
Jennifer Campbell (c) 2019