Elise just told me about her past. I knew she had been through a lot, but not all that. She said her mom hit her and left bruises when she was a kid, her neighbor touched her where she didn’t want to be touched, and I guess her brother was alcoholic. There was a lot of other stuff, too. It has gotten better in the last couple years so that is good. I have known their whole family for a long time and never knew any of that.
What do I do now? I want to help somehow, but is there anything to do? I don’t know if I should tell someone. I feel sad.
We hope abuse and trauma never happen to ourselves or someone we love. When your sister, long-time friend, or neighbor tells you something you never expected, it can be confusing, upsetting, and scary.
We as friends and family play an absolutely critical role in letting our loved ones know they still have a place outside of their counselor’s office. We are the ones who live with them every day, who love them with everything we have and hate to see them hurt. We are the ones who know secrets that others would never imagine. We are the ones who show them that they belong with us.
[For more of this story, written by Grace R. Watt, go to http://psychcentral.com/blog/a...r-non-professionals/]