A Befriending Dragons Strategy
Too often we minimize our own pain, our own trauma. Harassment is not a little thing. Bullying of any sort is not a little thing. Racism is not a little thing. Sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism are not little things. They loom large. They have impact far beyond the moment when they occur or when we tell an authority about them. They further individual and organizational trauma. It’s not a little thing.
“I am enough.” Not just in good ways, but in bad ones as well. The pain I experienced is enough to be upset about. The trauma I experienced is enough to make an imprint on my body and my thoughts. The bullying I experienced is enough to talk about and expect others to do something about. It is enough. I have had enough. I am enough. It’s not a little thing.
We have to stop treating harassment and bullying as one-time things that exist in a single moment. The impact lingers, multiplies, spreads. Let’s befriend that dragon, reframe that discussion, change that gatekeeper. Let’s offer healing to individuals and organizations who face harassment or bullying. Let’s change cultures to align with fundamental anti-bullying principles. It’s not a little thing.
We nurture that change, we befriend our dragons together.
Words 4 Justice
“Trauma in a person, decontextualized over time, looks like personality. Trauma in a family, decontextualized over time looks like family traits. Trauma in a people decontextualized over time looks like culture!”
― Resmaa Menakem, My Grandmother’s Hands | Anti-Racist Education
“Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves.”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma
“Over time as most people fail the survivor’s exacting test of trustworthiness, she tends to withdraw from relationships. The isolation of the survivor thus persists even after she is free.”
― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence – From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror