This is a fine piece of writing. The subject is difficult. My relatives would not speak about their experiences. We were a silent family, only the hurt and love told of the hardships my parents and their families faced. The words Helen speaks here are true, touching the heart.
Last week, I sat with an elder and heard her life story. I don’t want to say that I have been desensitized to my people’s pain but rather, I have come to expect certain themes to emerge from Indigenous people’s stories. Even more so when it is an Indigenous person who has been to a residential school. I have witnessed people’s truth and have heard some very horrific stories which always results in a bodily reaction. So this time, I sat with this elder in this new and personal environment, thinking that I had already mentally prepared for the possibilities and facets of life that could be exposed.
I was wrong.
I am continually wrong when it comes to controlling my emotions (humanity) when exposed to the depth of someones pain and trauma.
I don’t think I am the only one who experiences a physiological reaction when faced with the hard truths…
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