We avoid entering the messy stuff of people’s lives because we fear we won’t know what to say, what to do, how to ‘help’. Trauma and its aftermath frightens us, because it is hard to watch people suffer, and stand helplessly by, with nothing practical to offer by way of support.
In the past five years I have seen things I didn’t know were possible, of people in pain struggling against it, and wrestling with darkness and fear. I have had more moments of questions without answers than ever in my life.
And if there is one thing I have learned when working with victims of abuse, it is the importance of embracing awkward moments, and being comfortable with not knowing what to say. Because in those moments, all the victim needs from me, is to sit quietly and know that I care. Words will come later, when the time is right and the words bring healing. But in moments of deepest trauma, when the mind cannot even absorb words, caring presence is all that matters.
The silent support of one true friend at a loss for words offers more hope and comfort than a thousand right answers from a heart without compassion. Love heals.
~ T ~