What is the best way to support a trauma victim? Let them “feel the feels” as Spartan Life Coach Richard Grannon would say… without making them feel self-conscious.
Truly empathetic people know and understand that when a person has suffered abuse — especially at the hands of families, lovers, or toxic peer groups, they need validation the abuse even happened (first and foremost), noting that abusive people and enablers typically tell victims that the abuse is all in their head, should be minimized, or be swept under a rug and the victim shamed for having been victimized in general.
Particularly nasty Flying Monkeys and predators thrive while true victims wither because they tend to treat abuse victims like they deserved the abuse or like they are doing something wrong for being willing to work through the stages of grief.
Narcissistic Abuse Recovery without being interrupted, shamed, or invalidated.
Men — support your women. Women? Support and encourage your men. Little boys who grew up being told they had to be tough were actually being taught to suppress their emotions. For that reason alone, expect their process to be quieter and more subtle (based on an internal dialogue) while women’s are more obvious due to a socially cultured need to talk through emotional processing and checking with friends and family to validate their healthful processing of complex emotional and psychological experiences.
Are there exceptions to the rule? Sure.
But on the whole, treating other people using the silver — rather than the golden rule — always seems to be more prudent.
Give trauma victims what they need to feel supported… not what YOU need to feel supportive.
Men might need straight talk and only a few words of direct advice to psychologically wrap their head around a difficult emotional problem. Women, on the other hand, may feel caustically criticized by people offering advice when really what she’s seeking is to have a person with her who is readily able to give wise council but instead opts to primarily listen.
Whether a trauma victim has been the victim of a violent crime perpetrated by a stranger, traumatized during a high conflict divorce situation, or has suffered due to a domestic violence situation, abuse side effects on the mind, body, and spirit are truly debilitating if and when someone unnaturally bullies their way through and interrupts a victim’s healing process. Resist the urge to minimize the effect of domestic abuse and bullying on a target or scapegoat.
If you care at all about the health and emotional well-being of a person you know who has been traumatized by Narcissistic Abuse of any kind, know that no matter what their chronological age it’s likely to have had an impact on — at the very least — the voice of their own inner child. Be a helper — not a Flying Monkey or active, willing, and egocentrically motivated abuser when and if someone chooses to trust you enough to let their vulnerable side show.
People who work through the stages of grief in a healthy manner according to a natural time schedule recover with time. Those who are invalidated or have justice denied tend to develop C-PTSD over time. Contact your local domestic violence advocate or local authorities if you feel your physical safety of yourself and/or your children has been compromised, but don’t devalue the impact of psycho-social or emotional abuse.
The toughest wounds to heal from are those that are not technically visible… regardless whether you are biologically, emotionally, socially, or psychologically male or female.