In reading some of the posts on birthdays, in experiencing as a result some of my own vast, unexpected sadness behind that topic as well as reading it in others, I saw how the trauma expressed, though it references and refers to the past, seems pointedly to occur in the present. This makes me suspect something more like the occurrence of a “new” (second) trauma–an offense, rather–rather than the re-opening of an old wound, a first trauma. Or in other words, I see this less as remembering an old wound or sadness that happened and more like someone, here and now, standing before me at this very moment advertently or not harming me with how they speak to me, more than what they say. I’d rather call this an offense than a trauma, to the extent tht it seems like a (deliberate or indeliberate) re-production of an older trauma.
That’s not a nice thing to do.
I would like to say I have some clever solution for addressing this, but my best “trick,” which involves pointing to the fact that the person speaking to me, right here, right now, by what she or he says, itself harms me, doesn’t succeed very often. People have a difficult time acknowledging that their innocently offered words have harmful effects, but even emphasizing that point to them does not typically induce self-awareness or self-consciousness.
So, for my own sake and ours, I ask what else have you (we) collectively discovered or worked out as strategies for dealing with these sorts of people who inadvertently insist on harming us with how they speak to you (us). I don’t mean so much the patent assholes, because often we may simply walk away and not associate with them, but in other areas of our lives, where distancing ourselves from such cruel innocence (or deliberate ignorance) be infeasible, what techniques (other than avoidance) have you (we) come up with?