So, you’re the loved one of a man who’s experienced trauma.
You’re probably here because you want to help him.
But what should you do if you, yourself, have previously experienced trauma at the hands of a man?
What if your loved one’s expression of his trauma makes you feel unsafe? You want him to heal, but listening to his story places a burden on you.
It’s ok if you can’t handle the details.
To protect your own health while supporting him, here are some things you could say:
- “Maybe I’m not the best person to share these details with. This is bringing up painful memories for me.”
- “Although I can’t handle listening to this, it doesn’t mean I don’t care.”
- “Can I help you find somebody to talk to?”
It takes bravery to say these things, but you’re protecting your health.
If you feel unsafe and traumatized, you won’t be in a place where you can help him in his trauma. It’s no small thing to help him heal, even if you’re not the specific person he can share with.
I encourage you to speak up, if hearing about his trauma triggers trauma for you.
Try using the phrases above to open conversation, or a statement of your own.
What can you say to communicate your needs while supporting his?
By Matt Burton