Today, I listened to a friend tell a sad story of heartbreak. He mentioned beforehand that it was the lived experience of his cousin. I knew otherwise. It was his story, but he was still too ashamed to tell his story without detaching himself from it.
There are traumatic experiences people should never have. And if you have it, give yourself time to heal. No one ever understands why it takes so long to heal, but trauma is personal and people heal in different ways and durations.
What is even more worrying is that the perpetrator usually makes the victim feel they are taking too long to heal. They play the card of now being the victim because the real victim has neither healed nor moved on.
I see this also in the story of Biafra. Everyone expects the Igbos to heal and move on. But that expectation opens up new wounds.
Back to my friend. I did not reveal that I could see past the veil of his cousin, and see him naked. Instead, I listened and offered my opinion – “Anyone that cannot wait for you to heal is the reason you are not yet healed.”
I am thankful for friends that let me in on their sacred battles. I might not be able to help, but their stories make my journey feel less lonely.