Giving ourselves time to grieve the violence and pain we have endured is one of the most difficult, and crucial pieces of self-care. Grief looks different for everyone. Sometimes it looks like crying; wailing, tears that flow for days, weeks, or years. Sometimes it looks like silence; quiet reflection, inner dialogue and processing. Sometimes it looks loud; angry, aggressive, screaming, punching pillows, and taking kickboxing classes. Sometimes it looks like creating distance from family members or friends who don’t provide the kind of support we need. Sometimes it is all of these things at different times. Sometimes it is none. The key is to give yourself time to try different things that might help. Grief is an ongoing process. It can come and go in waves. But know that when we give it space to be, it won’t feel as overwhelming or out of control.
- Survivor Theatre Project
I was struck by this recommendation while reading Survivor Theatre Project’s email newsletter this morning. I’ve often assumed that in order to fully process trauma, a person has to have some kind of emotional breakdown, and then build themself back up (like in the movies). But what do you do when that breakdown never comes? That’s why I love what the newsletter said about the many ways that grief can look: