Random Thoughts on a Tuesday: 6th July 2021

Welcome to Random Thoughts on a Tuesday. As explained in my monthly update at the start of 2021 this series is a safe place for me to explore my thoughts about the world, positive and negative. Sometimes there will be more of one than the other so if you’re someone who doesn’t like to read negative things then I’d advise you to skip this series because I make no apologies for the contents. As I said, this is my safe to explore things. Trigger warnings will be given if ever needed.

Trigger Warnings:

I discuss some dark thoughts, , mental health, trauma, and PTSD  in this post.

Mental Health

  • I’ve lost track of the number of times that I’ve said or done something wrong, usually showing my true feelings that I keep hidden from the rest of the world in a neat little box because people don’t get angry, they don’t complain or be negative. People bitch and moan about the shallowest things, they frequently gossip behind each other’s backs or call other people names. “Did you see what so and so was wearing the other day?!” But dare I get angry about something important, dare I get passionate and they flock together to tell me how bad I am. I’ve tried all sorts of ways to word things. I’ve done warm and friendly, I’ve done super polite and helpful, and I’ve done cold and unpleasant. I can never unlock that magical way of doing it that is above reprieve, that doesn’t come along with words of being judgemental, of being angry and passive-aggressive, of needing to chill and my personal pet peeve – GET THERAPY.
  • Get Therapy. And what would happen when I respond and say ‘done that?’ Mockery. “It clearly didn’t work, go back” or something to that gist. Because to them, therapy is for angry people, people who scream at life. That is what they tell me. They don’t realise that therapy is for those of us who have been scarred so deeply by life that we’ll be carrying those scars with us forever, that most some days it feels like no amount of therapy can fix us because we’re eternally broken. But yes, let’s toss therapy at it and make it all better… rather than actually talking to the person and trying to understand why they’re upset. Maybe if you actually spoke to us instead of condemning us we might not feel the need to reply with anger, to shout and scream our thoughts. Maybe we’d finally feel as though someone other than our therapists (and our friends <3) listened.
  • Trauma is trauma. I had this thrown at me the other day and it has been bothering me ever since for two reasons 1) it was said by four people in quick succession like a mantra as a ‘well that explains everything’ without any actual explanation and 2) I don’t think any of them actually had a clue what real trauma was. By real trauma I don’t mean I get to define anyone’s trauma, I’m not a psychologist, a therapist or anything else. Having PTSD means I understand it on a personal level, but I’m not an expert. What I mean is that a lot of people don’t understand that there is a huge difference between trauma and pain or shock, for example. A horrible experience might seem traumatic at the time, but whether it actually results in psychological trauma such as PTSD is a different thing entirely. So saying “trauma is trauma” is extremely ambiguous.

I looked up the quote and it comes from Peter Levine’s book Trauma, in which he explains; “trauma is trauma, no matter what caused it […] in order for us to fully understand this, we need to hone in on the fact that people can be traumatized by any event they perceive (consciously or unconsciously) to be life-threatening.”

I found a helpful explanation by Julia Scott that I’ll be using in future to explain the difference between the type of trauma that causes PTSD and the type of trauma that she refers to as ‘small trauma’;

All of us have experienced a number small t traumas in life: being teased or bullied at school, losing friends by moving from school to school during childhood, a teacher shouting at us in front of the whole class, the of a pet, losing a job, or divorce.

As Julia says, this doesn’t diminish the importance of these events or the effect they have on our lives and she refers to how constant teasing can result in the development of low self-esteem. But there is still a difference between small trauma and big traumas which can result in PTSD. So if you’re reading this and you’ve ever said ‘trauma is trauma’ next time you go to say it, please think before you do.

Identity

  • Gender and sexual identities are not labels. It’s extremely harmful to the LGBTQA+ community to say something like “I wish we could stop using labels and just get along peacefully” or “we’re all human beings, labels aren’t important”. They’re identities, not labels. If you truly believe you’re an ally then take the time to educate yourself and learn the difference.
  • July is disability month and I’m starting to see my fellow disabled discussing topics, including harmful things that people say and do to us. As I prepare my posts for it I wonder whether I’ll get someone who says something to me. One of the worst is “don’t call yourself disabled!” as if it’s an insult as if we’re putting ourselves down or like with gender and sexual identities we are questioned as to why we need to “label ourselves as disabled”. I wonder if it’s because they don’t have an identity of their own.
Random Thoughts on a Tuesday: 6th July 2021: Random thoughts on a Tuesday (6th July 2021), my safe place for just saying what's on my mind whether it's positive, negative or just random nonsense.

I wish…

  • People would realise that the grass is NOT greener on the other side.
  • That I could wake up and not read more bad news coming from England regarding covid-19 and the changes they’ve been making recently. The new health minister seems to know absolutely nothing about health and seems to be a puppet designed to placate the masses. I’m extremely glad I live in Scotland, but where does that leave my family and friends in England? F**ked.
  • That people actually knew how publishing and books worked. Complaining to an author that there are no book signings in your city/country is monumentally unfair to them. They have zero control over where they get sent. Some go out of their way to sign books in their local vicinity but you can’t expect them to hop on a plane (especially in a bloody pandemic) at their own expense to just sign books. If you do then you have no respect for their profession at all.
  • The long term effects of bullying were understood more, and that the people who said things like “people weren’t bullied enough in school” or “bullying builds character” knew how many of us struggle with mental health AND physical health conditions as a result of what happened to us in school. We’re not statistics on a webpage or case study, or names on social media that you’ll never meet. We’re people you know and see every day.

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