Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

The Memory Is Worse Than The Violation

When do victims experience the true terror and pain of trauma?

Is it at the moment of violation?

Or is it in the memory of it?

These are not trivial questions.

There is, after all, some wisdom in not over-paying attention to a trauma victim immediately after the incident. Perhaps it has something to do with memory and reinforcement mechanisms in the brain’s nebulous structures and processes.

Those of you who have been victimized – by a psychopath or a random cruelty of nature – the memory hurts deep, doesn’t it? You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?

Perhaps that’s why our bodies insulate us from the truth of what happened – sometimes for years, decades even.

We remember – and the remembering is more painful than the trauma.

Let me slow down a bit and write that last sentence slightly different to reveal something:

We re-member – and the the re-membering is more painful than the trauma.

We were dismembered when we were violated.


I know it’s painful. I know it.

Putting together the torn-apart pieces of your body and mind is cruel work. But it’s work.

In your time and at your pace, please know: it’s your right to re-member what was dis-membered from you.

The memory is worse than the violation.

But it’s the re-membering that sets you free. You may never be completely healed: to think so might drive you mad. All you need to do is to know it gets better after the work.

Take your time. Do the work. Grieve it out.

From one who knows, take these words I give to you and do the work.

The memory is worse than the violation.

But you are not the violation.

You are the victor. Remember that. Please.


Phil Baumann


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