PTSD, Healing, and the Power of “AND”

Picture of a tall sunflower over a lower sunflower field and purple text reading PTSD and the power of and

PTSD, Healing, and the Power of “AND”


Today’s PTSD Healing Thought of The Day is brought to you by a casual conversation I had this week with a friend. 


It can feel extra difficult to heal from a trauma if the person who hurt you is not generally a monster, jerk, or mean person. How do you heal from being incredibly hurt, while you still think your perpetrator does good things for the world in general? 

Not every person who causes trauma is an inherently bad person. They may believe that whatever they did to cause you pain was the right decision, or unavoidable, or collateral damage. Maybe they just made a mistake, even if they don’t believe so.
I’m learning – slowly – painfully – the power that the word “and” holds. 

The truth is a person can believe with their entire heart that they are doing or did the right thing….AND still not be doing the right thing. Or at least, not the right thing for the person who was hurt.


A person can be a good person….AND still hurt someone else deeply, even to the point of traumatization.

A person can be an overall good person….AND have flaws such as selfishness, thoughtlessness, or inflexibility. 


The power of and – it’s a bit of a double edged sword.


When a trauma victim’s perpetrator is a monster – its easy to hate, to expect friends and family to hate, the world to hate the monster. For many people hate is a part of the healing process, just as anger is part of the grieving process.


When the hurt person is hurt by someone who isn’t a monster, it creates an added layer of crud to sort through, such as:


Doubting yourself, “was it really that bad?” 

Paranoia – “if this good person hurt me, who else might?”

Shame – “if this person is usually good and treated me poorly, did i deserve it?”

More distrust of yourself “am i justifying? are my feelings too much, too big, too severe?”

More doubt “Am *I* actually a good person?”

Possibly social anxieties – do we have mutual friends, co-workers, communities? How will this impact those things?


Probably more that I’ve not uncovered yet. No wonder it’s so complicated.


A couple more ANDs to wrap up this rambling.


I’m healing….AND I have a long way to go.

I’m letting go….AND allowing myself to take all the time I need.

I’m longing for justice….AND acknowledging there’s no such thing.

I’m grieving an enormous loss…..AND taking steps forward

I’m being kind to myself…..AND I’m not perfect at it.


What does the power of “AND” do for you?


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