Trauma is not easy to handle. When I think of trauma I can’t help but think of Tori Amos. I love Tori Amos. I started listening to her in high school. I was 26 when I started working at a new place. A coworker and I started talking about some of our favorite music. I mentioned Tori Amos and he called it “suicide music.”. He said, “you listen to that. That music is depressing.” I laughed but he wasn’t completely wrong. Some of her music is depressing.
One of my favorite Tori Amos songs is “Spark” (see video below). The video is beautifully shot and looks like it could be a scene from a suspenseful film. The song is hard to decipher at first but the reality is that the song is about one of her miscarriages. Tori had a hard time trying to have a child. A miscarriage can be traumatic. Trauma can lead to depression. We don’t always know depression is coming. Sometimes we think we can handle things on our own but we can’t. We shouldn’t. Family and friends are supposed to help through those hard times.
Unfortunately, some people don’t have family or friends to lean on. This is what makes me sad. There are cultures that still frown on going to therapy. Therapy is not a bad thing at all. There are too many people out there who are not getting the help they need. Some workplaces don’t even cover mental health appointments. I think that is a shame. Mental health needs to be a bigger priority. I am always happy when I hear of workplaces that allow 4-5 free appointments when times get challenging for employees. It’s called life. We are all going to face trauma at some point.
I also think people truly need mental health days. We don’t need to tell our business and explain ourselves. We just need to say “I’m not feeling my best today” and take the day off. It shouldn’t even be an issue. I believe everyone deserves 5 mental health days a year (in addition to sick days). Every workplace should implement this.
I see too many people sad and suffering. It breaks my heart. I wish I knew more about how to help people. I’m trying to learn ways to be more helpful. Sometimes, being helpful is just listening. People aren’t always looking for a solution right away. They just want to be heard. They just want a shoulder to cry on.
It took me years to understand that. I am a woman but always struggled with not being a nurturer. It’s not natural for me. Stereotypically men like to act. They hear about a problem and they just want to solve it right away. They don’t want to talk – they want to act. They want to fix the issue and move on. This has been more of my personality. I had to learn to be an active listener when my friends came to me.
They wanted me to just listen and offer a tissue. I had to fight my nature to not ask a bunch of questions and come up with a solution. I had to sit there and LISTEN. I had to really listen and be present. It took me until my early 30s to figure this out. A lot of people assume all women are just natural at it but we all are not. We have to work at things too. Conversely, I know lots of men who are natural nurturers…and shocker…they turned into great fathers!
My hope is that we all do better at being open and available for our family and friends. We have to look for the signs that they may not be having a good day or week. If we can tell they aren’t being their regular peppy selves it’s good to check in on them. It’s good to call and see if everything is OK. We have to check in on our “strong friends”.
I wanted to share 2 Tori Amos videos. The two songs are 2 of my favorite Tori songs.
One of them is “Spark” and the other is called “Graveyard”.
Peace and Blessings!