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The Trauma Compliment, The Traump-liment

How writers unknowingly compliment the strength in their readers.


Photo by tabitha turner on Unsplash


As non-fiction writers, there are so many times we're writing through something so holistically traumatizing, something so deeply painful, that we found it necessary to not only remember the moment, but extract it from our being and transcribe it on the page (or screen) as a last ditch effort to remove ourselves from the moment in the hopes that while doing so someone else will read our story and through this almost necessary style of sharing we find connection.


I believe that where there's shadows, there's also light. As non-fiction enthusiasms we use these moments of shame and trauma to bridge the gap between ourselves and the world around us in a deeper way. It's a compliment that only writers and their readers will enjoy. A compliment in the most imperfect sense.


We as writers say to the reader, here we are, with all our baggage thoughtfully organized around us, and if there's anyone out there who has similar luggage, well, I see you and honor what you've been through. I traump-liment you.


"Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness." - Brené Brown