Saturday, 2 June 2018
Do we need to scream more?
This week, I read of a young teenager who was severely depressed. Anti-depressants hadn't worked, and in the end she went to a place in the country where people like her were treated. There, she was encouraged to go out into the nearby woods (safely) and scream her pain. It worked. She still takes medication, but she is much better for her screaming.
When my first husband died, the pain was so bad that I felt like screaming, but of course I didn't. Well we don't, do we? During the funeral, I wished we were of a culture where screaming was allowed; even encouraged. Where people throng round a funeral pyre and yell their anguish uninhibitedly. But we all wept quietly. Weeping quietly is acceptable; even expected.
Then, one evening, things came to a head. I think I'd had some trivial disagreement with one of the children about PE kit (or something equally unimportant). I got in the car, and drove a short distance down the road and up a country lane. And I screamed. I screamed and screamed and screamed. I screamed so much and so loudly that I was hoarse for a week afterwards, but it helped. I got some of that anguish out; I was able to vocalise how I felt. Not by the quiet weeping that I'd been doing for the last couple of weeks, but with a full-on explosion of pain.
It's odd that it's fine to scream at a pop concert (provided you're young enough) or in extreme danger, but not when assailed by one of the worse pains of all: bereavement. It's just not British.
It doesn't even feel quite right writing it here; after all, I am British. But I'm going to, anyway....