With the rise of technology mankind has made incredible advancements, however as a civilisation, this surge of accessibility to information has unfortunately also come with many downsides. Right now, all over the world people are posting, on a variety of media and then they wait while everyone and anyone weighs in. This has unfortunately created a breeding ground for judgement. The very first version of Facebook was purely about rating people on how they looked!
The flow on effect of this becoming an acceptable societal norm, is that it’s often present in real life too, not just the virtual. People comment and say whatever they want, without a whole lot of thought about how their judgement might effect that other person. Words have power and they can wound, and they can have an effect on a person’s mental health without the individual being consciously aware that this has happened. In the absence of truth, the alternative is accepted.
When someone is wounded or feels judged – where is their refuge? As humans we can make mistakes, where is the safe passage to have the pain dealt with in a compassionate and non judgemental way. It doesn’t exist, or if it does, they need to get on to new marketing ASAP.
In this world of judge first ‘oops my bad…‘ later, coupled with a broadly accepted view of once a ……. always a ……… This is proving to be a recipe for disaster! There were so many times I thought about disclosing to my friends or loved ones about my secret addiction to the pokies, but I would hear them say something judgemental about someone else and I would think, ‘well I can never share my pain with them!’
I myself bought into the floored model of ‘The cycle of addiction’ all it did was rob me of hope that I would never ever truly be well again, that the best outcome I could hope for was periods of recovery. The thought of living in fear of it just being a case of not if but when I would disappoint all who loved me, was a pain I could no longer bear. 4 years ago I almost took my life.
Recognising and understanding myself was a process that I was not even aware that I had to learn. I thought that because I was me, that I knew me. I hadn’t even realised how far I had drifted from who I actually was, to who had taken my place. Rebuilding and restoring me was a two year journey and it was during that time and my interactions with others, in group therapy and in my life that I could see others caught in this alternate existence between who they truly were and who they had come to accept as themselves. As I said, when you are in it, you aren’t consciously aware of it.
When a person goes to jail for a crime, they might serve their time but when they get out they don’t have a clean slate, we as a society don’t actually believe in rehabilitation. They just have to accept that they will have to live the rest of their life with the stigma and shame of the crime. This affects their job, housing and social prospects.
Also, we as a society have become so protective of any perceived or actual exposed weakness, by keeping things hidden or judging, that we have closed the door to forgiveness, compassion and HOPE. This has therefore created no safe passage for people in pain. People struggling and buckling under the weight and pressures of life. When we take away or leave no room for Hope, things we are not equipped to deal with then go underground and secret and then shame and fear amplify the situation and the cycle perpetuates.
The public outrage and scorn over domestic violence at the moment is in my opinion counterproductive. I am not for one second condoning the behaviour, but if we don’t understand it’s an outcome of human pain manifesting itself in a terribly destructive way then we are missing the core of the situation. That this person needs help not scorn and I believe we would see a dramatic decrease in this issue if we create a model in society that separates people’s pain from the destructive behaviour they are displaying.
What erupts in a violent outburst in one person, is a drug habit in another. A person struggling with food issues, in another self harms. Porn, sex, internet, gaming, gambling, shopping, depression etc……. The end outcome of pain is as different and unique as we are yet we then try and group people together and stick a diagnosis or a label on the person like we have just solved their problems. I was addicted to Pokies but that is not who I am. A person is a person, they may be addicted to drugs or alcohol etc but they are a person in pain – mental, physical or emotional, either actual or perceived and they don’t know in that moment how else to exist….