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Believing that you can stop being affected by Trauma can be challenging. This is one of Trauma’s 12 Common lies it wants you to believe if you have experienced Trauma. You may be replaying the bullying you received as a child and expecting it from people in your life now. You may be questioning if others will accept you for you if you’ve been told there was something inherently wrong about you in the past. You may have difficulty expressing what is going on within yourself. You may be afraid others will criticize you for being yourself. You might wonder if your past pain will always define you.

One way Trauma stays in your life is by having you believe your past is how your future will be. You may be hearing the words replayed in your mind that things will never get better. You may be questioning whether you can stop being pulled back from what you’ve already experienced. You may have reached out for help and gotten no results. All of these can make this lie feel true if you expect the past to reflect what the future will hold for you.

Trauma wants to keep you questioning whether you can change your life. It wants you to wonder if you will be able to move on. It does this so it can stay in your life. It’s pervasive. The more influence it has, the more power it has. By keeping you questioning if things can change for the better, it keeps a presence in your life.

a woman holds her hands over her face Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

One of the fastest things you can do to change this voice is to recognize it. If you find it swirling around in your thoughts, you certainly aren’t alone. There are many people who have these same thoughts. Interestingly, this could possibly just be a thought that arises when you feel a certain way. If you can think of a time that you weren’t so low, did you have the voice then? If you can remember a time when things went well for you, even for a day, did you have the thought then?

These thoughts do not have to be a fact about how life is always going to be. This inner voice may be related to a feeling of what you are currently experiencing. When you are feeling low it’s easy for Trauma to sneak its lies into your life.

However, feelings are not permanent. How you are feeling within can and will change. If you can consider this might be a feeling rather than a fact about how life is going to be, it can help deflate the power of Trauma’s Common Lie #1.

What Trauma doesn’t want you to know is as you change your life will change. You must do things differently to get different results. That means you have the power to change your life and this belief. If you can notice how things have changed for you in the past, it can be a massive help with silencing this voice.

Part of breaking free of Trauma is recognizing what it is telling you might not be factually true. As you understand your feelings might not be all that life is and notice how you are behaving differently now, this lie can stop dominating your feelings and thoughts. You can trust that you can define your life, not Trauma. It just takes consistent small changes to break free of Trauma’s first common lie.

man wearing silver framed aviator style sunglasses Photo by Juliana Kozoski on Unsplash

This is part of a series on trauma and the LGBTQ community.

About the Author

Amelia Harshfield eradicates the effects of Trauma’s lies. She teaches driven and ambitious people how to release themselves from the effects of Trauma’s 12 Common Lies. Amelia works with clients to help them move from living a life of scarcity and unhappiness into the life they want so that they can lose the chains of Trauma and be free from their past experiences. After working with Amelia, her clients can trust themselves and others, believe in themselves and their worth, and know how to love themselves. Connect with Amelia Harshfield here: Email: amelia@ameliaharshfield.com

Follow Amelia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/confronttraumaslies or visit www.ameliaharshfield.com

How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

commons.wikimedia.org

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

Transgender Sign in Pride Parade



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