I’m Rachel and I’m a “platitude survivor” 😉 Sometimes I’ve been more hurt by people’s comments about my difficult life circumstances than by the circumstances themselves. I’ve had to fight against allowing such platitudes to break me.
Through painful life experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to learn so much. I’m not an expert. I don’t have all the answers, but I hope that I’m learning to ask better questions. I refuse to settle for anything less than life giving hope and since platitudes often don’t provide that, I dare to challenge them. I’m a Christian, a follower of Jesus, seeking to be authentic, not afraid to remain with the questions when sometimes the answers cannot easily be found.
I live with multiple sclerosis and for eight years, have been going through the pain of infertility. Neither of those things define me, but I understand what it is when life is not all that you would have chosen it to be.
Other life experiences that have been part of my journey include:
-Recovery from an eating disorder as a teenager
-Watching my husband fight for his life in intensive care during a long five weeks of pancreatitis. He survived, and so did I, but it changed us.
-Standing at my Mum’s bedside as she died from cancer three years ago, having previously gone through chemotherapy.
My husband and I work in Christian ministry. In the midst of that we’ve known moments of great excitement and joy but also moments of intense pain and stress. I’m a dramatherapist, currently focussing on young offenders and teenagers in the foster care system. Both professionally and personally, I have experienced the privilege of walking alongside others in their suffering and have listened to the questions and anguish that is often part of those journeys. I call it a privilege because I recognise what it costs to be vulnerable and to trust enough to share the pain with another. I’ve also been privileged to see so many overcome adversity and find a strength that is inspirational. Platitudes cannot provide that strength and in fact often add more pain. No-one can walk another person’s journey for them, but we can all seek to walk alongside each other with authenticity, to listen and not to cause more pain by imposing answers or giving false hope. That’s my journey and I invite you to join me.