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The Burden of Silence: The Stigma Surrounding Trauma and the Harm of Censorship

As I reflect on my journey, I am filled with a heavy heart as I have come to realize the painful reality that trauma is a word that carries a great deal of shame and taboo in our society. My recent experience submitting an article to a newsletter only reinforced this fact. Despite pouring my heart out and sharing the dark reality of the toxic and abusive relationship that I endured for so long, the editor, who is also an expert in equity, diversity, and inclusion, chose to censor my words.

My story is not one that I am ashamed of, but rather one that I hold close to my heart as it is an essential part of who I am today. The trauma that I have experienced still lingers within me, haunting me even after all these years. However, by denying me the opportunity to speak my truth, the editor and those like them are inflicting further harm upon me and countless others who have been silenced and oppressed for far too long.

The editor's rationale for censoring my words was that they were concerned about triggering their readers, who work in the field of Behavioral Health. However, it deeply saddens me that those who are supposed to be experts in dealing with trauma and its effects are not equipped to handle the reality of it. It is a cruel irony that the very systems that are designed to help individuals heal and recover from trauma are often the same ones that perpetuate the stigma and silence surrounding it.

The road to healing is a long and arduous one, and the journey is made all the more difficult when we are denied the opportunity to speak our truth. It is my sincerest hope that one day we can live in a world where trauma is not viewed as a dirty word, but rather as a part of the human experience that deserves compassion, understanding, and empathy.

Here is the original story I submitted.

The journey towards healing from a toxic and abusive relationship has been a difficult and tumultuous one for me, fraught with scars and memories that linger long after the relationship has ended. Yet, sometimes, it is the smallest and simplest of things that can serve as the catalyst for a profound realization and newfound liberation.

For me, this moment of awakening came in the form of a feline friend, brought over by a new acquaintance. As I looked upon the beautiful creature with longing, the realization dawned that I was finally free to embrace the things that had once been denied to me. Thus began a journey of healing, one that was aided immeasurably by the companionship of a special feline friend named Tygra.

Kitkat, as I affectionately call her, is a creature of grace and mischief, with a penchant for teasing our family dog from the safety of her perch on the balcony above. But there is more to this feline than meets the eye, for she possesses a deep intuition and an innate understanding of my emotional needs. When sadness or loneliness strike, Kitkat is always there to provide a comforting presence, a warm purr, and a soft paw.

Yet, despite the safety and security of her indoor life, Tygra's curiosity and adventurous spirit once led her astray, out into the great unknown beyond the confines of our home. Panic and fear gripped her as she found herself lost and alone, until the unconditional love and devotion of my family brought her safely back home. In that moment, Tygra's journey towards healing took a new turn, as she allowed herself to be vulnerable and open to the love and care that was offered so freely.

As for her name, it is imbued with a special significance for me, one that harks back to a time of innocent childhood wonder and imagination. Tygra, named after the Thundercat of the same name, embodies the strength and courage that are needed to overcome adversity and rise above the challenges that life can present. She is a symbol of hope and resilience, a constant reminder that, no matter how difficult the road may be, there is always the possibility of healing and transformation.

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