According to Jesse Lee Peterson, a child can be born gay if the mother was angry while pregnant, because she can pass “spiritual trauma” in utero. Seriously. Now, if that wasn’t bad enough–biology and pregnancy in general do not work that way!–it’s what he says about trauma that is utterly maddening.
“It’s amazing how many people hold on to their traumas when it’s so easy to overcome. (snaps fingers repeatedly) It is the easy thing to overcome and yet people spend a lifetime holdin’ on to it.”
I’m going to pause right there and let that sink in.
Trauma is not an easy thing with which to deal or cope. It is a difficult journey that is fraught with setbacks, self-blame and frustration. You ask yourself repeatedly why you’re not healing properly, why you can’t simply go back to being normal. Small things will cause you to jump. The sound of someone snapping their gum, a dropped box, a balloon popping, these sounds and more make your skin crawl, make you wonder if you really are safe. You question yourself constantly, wondering if you’re overreacting to things.
Sometimes, that’s on a good day. The bad days are a lot worse.
I’ve had to deal with my own baggage, if you will. I’ve had to come to terms with my mother’s abuse. I’ve had to live through the aftermath of a shooting at my old Walmart. Neither one has been pleasant or pretty. My good days outnumber the bad ones but the bad days are that: they are bad.
There is no magical hand waving this away. This is something that stays with you, far longer than you want it. It sinks its claws into you and it stays. It’s always there, just below the surface and it is waiting to show itself. Some days, you believe that you’re fine until something sets you off, whether it’s auditory or visual. Then you’re reminded that no, you’re not fine.
It has nothing to do with “holding on to” the trauma. The trauma holds on to us. However, I don’t think Mr. Peterson can really comprehend that. His ideas of trauma and how it is passed pretty much say it all.
If only closed minds came equipped with closed mouths. The world would be a better place.