Bill Cosby was convicted as a violent sexual predator this week. America's Dad and the equivalent of Mandela to the North American Black community. And now, the good news/bad news of it is that everyone gets to experience some of the confusion and complexity of feelings that go on when someone is sexually assaulted by: a Dad that they loved; a neighbour who was really friendly and had a 'neighbourhood watch' sign on their door; a Big Brother that was supposed to support them and be a good role model for them because they didn't have a Dad; a priest that they turned to in a time of need in the confessional booth. Now all of North America is having to grapple with the fact that he was a good role model and he is a violent sexual predator. Both things are true. We can't keep making people out to be all good or all bad. Don't get me wrong. His behaviour was heinous. However, making people all good or all bad tends to cause the shame that creates the denial. It's complicated. It's called splitting. People deny to themselves what they are doing so they don't have to face the shame. Doesn't make it ok. It's just what makes people like Bill Cosby have a 'Cliff Huxtable' side and a violent sexual offender side. And for the people who have been triggered.....well unfortunately they will have been catapulted into their own story and have missed some time being present in the moment enjoying their life. The upside is that this situation can be validating for some people because the outcome says that no matter how famous or rich you are and no matter how many lawyers you have....you do the crime.... you do the time. For those of you that have been triggered, you have not "gone right back to square one." If your brain has fragmented and you find yourself having a hard time being present, remember the things that work best re: grounding you into the present moment. It's more like 'lose a turn' on a game board than being sent right back to the beginning. Your resiliency skills, calming your nervous system and practicing mindfulness will help you to know that you are not the shameful things that have happened to you and you are not the shameful messages that either you or they have said to you. You are wonderful and safe and it's over. It's a beautiful day. Go outside and breathe it in.
P.S. If you have a hard time grounding yourself then contact a help line, call a friend or message me.