I was assaulted last week by a special needs teenager who was on a school excursion at a a gallery in Melbourne. I was quite traumatised and I kept questioning myself about why I was so triggered and upset by the experience. I cried most of the way home on public transport from Melbourne to Ballarat. Then when I got home, I cried more.
When Shayne came over after work, I cried more. I kept saying, “Why am I so upset by this?” In my mind, I was telling myself that it was no big deal that a stranger came up to me in a public space and attacked me unexpectedly.
Shayne reassured me that anyone would be upset by it. I then stopped fighting my feelings and gave myself permission to feel it all. Then I was empty and there were no tears and now when I think back about it, I don’t have much emotion about it.
This was a good reminder that our own experiences are just that – our own. We don’t need to try and feel a certain way, or minimise how we are feeling, we just need to be present to those feelings.
I think my crying sessions were good as they released a lot of built up emotion, not just about the attack, but also previous trauma around family violence.
PS The deputy-principal of the school rang me the next day and apologised.