There is a ton of misinformation about trauma and trauma related disorders. Movies make mental illness into a weird, glamorous thing, where you cry a lot and get to make terrible decisions. I don’t actually cry a lot and I’m still held accountable for most of my decisions. Movies make Dissociative Identity Disorder into something to laugh at or fear. They make it look like something that just switches on and off, but it’s usually a lot more intense and way less convenient to the plot of the person’s life. The media has made Post Traumatic Stress Disorder into a soldier’s disease and while many soldiers suffer, often in silence, it’s not a military-exclusive deal.
So, I decided that there should be some discussion and here it is.
Rethink Trauma isn’t just a blog series or a fundraiser. It certainly isn’t a pity-party. Trauma is a real thing that needs awareness. It affects everyone; directly, indirectly, a little, a lot, a lottle. But how many stickers or bracelets or 5ks are there? How many quirky tee shirts or ribbons do you see? Did you know everything has a colored ribbon for awareness? PTSD’s color is teal. Did you also know teal is the color for food allergies? Did you know that June is PTSD awareness month? If breast cancer can have athletes wearing pink, could PTSD get grocery clerks or something?
Most of the tee shirts I saw for PTSD were down right offensive. Somehow, trauma is a joke, and it isn’t okay.
So, I picked the white balloon. Balloons are good, but also fragile. Much like those suffering from trauma-related disorders and for those of us whose disorder was rather violently thrust upon us, white is a redemptive color. We need the air cleared about this.
So I’m going to open a vent.