‘…relationships are not sustained by violence but by love. Love is a creative act. When you love someone, you create a new world for them’.
This is a quote from Trevor Noah, who grew up in the 1990’s, surrounded by brutality & violence, in a newly post-apartheid South Africa. Through all his experiences of racism, beatings, bullying & ostracism, he talks of the sustaining support & love of his mother. He saw that she wanted a better life for him with more opportunities than she had been given. She bought him the books she never got to read & got him an education she never had. He knew that she believed in him.
Trevor’s words speak of the healing power of relationships because trauma is not an event; it is the experience of the event. Trauma is a sense of extreme fear, helplessness & overwhelm, that is not properly processed. Processing is facilitated in a context of safety, connection & love.
Even when a child has experienced profoundly difficult, frightening, or abusive situations, we know that the presence of at least one positive relationship, with a caring adult, is a strong resilience factor. Someone who is prepared to be alongside them when they are in pain, without judgement or attempts to fix. Someone who can support them, in their own time, to make sense of events & help co-create new meaning. Someone whose love helps create a world of new hope & opportunity.
The Moffles by Mikenda Plant is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.