Amelia Gillis, LMHC
The Silent Tears
“Some nights I sit in my room and I just cry. There are so many things that have happened to me. I fear talking about it may cause other problems. I guess some things have to go to my grave.” - Fran
Meet Fran. A 24-year-old professional banker. Fran has always been a woman who worked hard and achieved her goals. Her family was always supportive and loving. She lived a “seemingly” perfect life. She had learned to master most areas in her life. However, she hasn’t mastered the ability to speak up about her emotional scars.
It traces back to when Fran was 10 years old and she was sexually assaulted by her father’s close friend. He was a friend of the family, so to be around him wasn’t out of the norm. It wasn’t uncommon for her dad to ask his friend to pick her up from school. He gained her trust but eventually broke it. There was a violation of her body, safety, and security.
Fast forward to today, her past continues to haunt her.
Lately, she has been experiencing increased levels of anger and irritability. Sometimes she feels disconnected from her emotions and can’t trace it. There are times when she is triggered by certain words and her trust for others is limited. The wounds of her past are still open and it spills out in her relationships. Many years of silence regarding her experience has left her filling empty and alone. On the outside, she smiles and says “I’m fine. However, on the inside, she is crying “help me”. Fran is afraid to speak about the pain because she fears mentioning it will cause her to relive it. She isn’t sure what to do. Therefore, she continues to suffer in silence.
What Fran hasn’t realized is that she experienced psychological trauma in her childhood and is dealing with symptoms of her experience. Psychological trauma is when an event shatters your sense of security. Experiencing trauma in childhood can have a severe and long-lasting effect. When left unresolved, a sense of fear and helplessness carries over into adulthood, which can set the stage for further trauma. These traumatic events can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and debilitating symptoms.
The stigma attached to mental health is very real and it causes many people to suffer in silence. Some mental health conditions are the cause of unresolved issues.
Mental health is invisible. That can make asking for help so much harder. However, keeping silent can be detrimental to your mental wellness. If you are like the Fran and have experienced a traumatic event even as a child, take the steps today to seek help to resolve those issues. You don’t have to suffer in silence. Support is available.
*Fran is a fictional character with real life conditions that was used as an educational tool.