I was reading a news story today about a man in recovery. The kind of recovery people seem to understand. His name is Rob Gronkowski and he was a famous football player for the New England Patriots. Winning three Super Bowls.
He is spending his days in physical therapy, working jigsaw puzzles for his mind and getting what he calls “healthy” again…and guess what? No one is questioning it. Instead, CBS News did a national news story on him and how he’s taking care of his physical and mental health.
It is accepted for him to take time after he “retired” at 29, to get what he calls healthy again. The game of football is demanding on the body and he had 20 concussions over his career. That in itself is quite a bit of trauma. I don’t disagree that he needs time to recover.
However, why is it acceptable for a football player to take time for his mental and physical well-being after knowingly putting himself through trauma, yet we endured trauma we didn’t ask for and people think we should just “get over it.”
It is the battle we face. Society does not understand how trauma affects us. It is taboo to talk about sexual trauma. With the “metoo” movement you would think things started to change. However, instead society is more worried about men being falsely accused, than the girls and women who endured the horrific assault. Why is it as sexual assault survivors what happened to us is questioned? People don’t question when someone is robbed or physically assaulted.
It is where we must keep fighting. I truly believe God wants each of us to use what happened to us to bring awareness to the fact our trauma has affected our entire lives. Our brains are powerful and they hold our trauma. The trauma reaches out to our bodies and we hurt physically, are anxious, depressed, and we struggle daily.
Speaking up about what we have been through and what we experience now because of the assaults is what can bring awareness to others.
I’m drafting a letter to a primary doctor I originally saw when I began to remember my past. He’s chief operating officer of a hospital now, and has far reaching connections. It is my hope and prayer what I share with him about my experiences with being over-medicated, hospitalization, and the lack of care and support I needed will raise awareness in the medical community.
It has taken me awhile to get to the point that I can share without expressing my anger about my experiences. I just want to bring awareness, and hope and pray for change. Even if one doctor changes what he does it can make a difference to people who have our experiences.
The battle we face is real and only through each of us will the world learn what we need and how to help others like us. Just like Esther in the Bible, we were created for such a time as this. How is God asking you to speak up today?
© 2019 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.