So many people get judged when they refuse to put their pain away. They get judged for showing it, for speaking it, for insisting on sharing their memories of abuse with those they know. I am not talking about those who overwhelm strangers with their stuff- I am talking about legitimate sharings with those they are connected with in daily life, including those who abused them. All too often, they are fed one repressive message or another: “Don’t look back,” “What’s done is done,” “Don’t be a victim,” “Your feelings are an illusion,” “Be strong.” What is ironic about this is that those who insist on embodying and expressing their feelings are actually the brave ones- unwilling and unable to live a false life. Their stuff is breaking through their defenses because they are tired of carrying the weight of buried truths. They want a healthier and more authentic life. Those who seek to shame their revealing are actually less courageous- turning to repressive mantras in an effort to bypass their own unresolved feelings and memories. If they can shut others down, they can remain shut down themselves. But shut down doesn’t take us anywhere good. If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us.