I walked Pilot Butte this morning.
On my way down I walked by a mother who seemed really upset at her child. He looked like he was about ten years old and overweight by our standards. She was calling him a loser because he didn’t want to keep walking up. She said it three or four times and then she started walking ahead of him.
In my social justice group we’ve been talking about when and where and how to speak up for others. So I did. The boy wasn’t facing me but when I got closer I said “Hey Sweetie, you aren’t a loser. You really aren’t.” We made eye contact. I know he heard my words. Not sure what he made of them in that moment. I am hoping they got tucked away in his heart.
My eyes welled up and tears spilled down my cheeks. For the boy, his Mama, me, for the difficulty in being human.
Because as I walked away I recognized myself in both of them. My inability to speak up when someone who has more power (or I think they do) is angry. And when I seemingly have more power or am triggered and say something like “you are lazy” to someone I love.
If you spot it you got it. This feels true to me.
I wasn’t judging her in that moment. I was seeing two people in pain. I can’t always hold things that way.
I can guess the Mama had strong feelings and she was doing the best she could in the moment. I can guess the child in standing still, in stopping, was also doing the best he could.
I don’t know if what I said was helpful or unhelpful. Did it cause more problems or not? I don’t have the answers.
It’s complicated. Understanding trauma, how it spills over.
What can you do? Notice if this post brought up feelings? How do you take care of difficult feels so they don’t spill over? Would it be helpful to apologize and own your trigger? How about sitting with the discomfort around your behavior and acknowledging your humanness?
Trauma is real, bringing it out and talking about it in safe spaces can be helpful.