One of the worst things you can do to a person who has gone through an incredibly traumatic experience is to tell them they’re faking it.
That kind of invalidation – reinforces the pain and makes it far harder to emotionally process the actual experience. The person suffering has just had their job made that much harder for them.
When I see adults who spend years in therapy trying to express and release the pain of not being seen, heard or believed – it astounds me to see the same people turn around and repeat that which was done to them to kids.
One of the worst arguments I have heard levied against the kids at the march are that they are actors, or brainwashed puppets of the state.
If true, that’s a horrific thing. And well worth investigating.
And it´s coming from across the political spectrum.
Beyond spouting conspiracy theories, vague assertions masqueraded as ‘ intuition’, the number one argument comes down to the kids’ eyes.
That’s probably even more horrific to hear.
Especially when you have a background in trauma counseling with high-risk teens who have lived through the realities on gang culture, drugs and sexual abuse.
I worked with thousands of these kids – and let me tell you something : their eyes were off.
A person’s eyes do not emote normally when they are processing intense, horrific trauma. Seeing your friends killed and fearing for your life count. You’ll see the same glassy eyes stare in veterans suffering from PTSD, or a woman curled up on her bed, shaking after rape. And even then, not all people who go through these experiences express them the same way. Some have difficulty speaking, some get hyper-focused, some can’t remember the details, some remember them far too much and far too often. Some seem perfectly ‘functional’ on the surface , and others are complete messes.
In an age where anyone can become an armchair expert and everyone’s opinion weighs more than actual facts….
You might actually want to stop and think whether the people making such assessments have the qualifications and experience doing so.
It’s so easy to project your worst fears onto the glassy eyes of someone who has not even begun to process their pain.
Let’s imagine for a moment that naysayers are right – that the kids are brainwashed actors . And in that same breath let’s remember that all of that hostility is being heard by an entire generation.
What message are they sending the kids watching?
‘We don’t believe you’
‘You don’t have a mind of your own’
‘We have the right to judge you’
Way to radicalize the the youth and make them feel like their alone in a war they need to fight by any means necessary.
Good luck with that.
The more this negativity and constant invalidation is spewed at kids, the greater the damage is to their psyche – and to the generation who now watches with bated breath.
For those you wanting to know more about the process, look up ´projective identification´.
Here´s a very simplified explanation to get the ball rolling.
Basically, it is the process by which our fears, anxieties, desires, etc. when projected onto another person – then become internalized by then.
Those screaming out against mind control are well advised to see that they´re falling into the exact same trap. There´s ways to have that discussion without causing more harm than good.
So what do you do instead?
The one piece that I’ve seen so far which actually asks the right questions comes from the survivors of Columbine experience. They still live their trauma, eighteen years later. They get it. And have the context to understand it.