When people talk about a common disaster, everyone assumes it is so because others who share a similar tragedy speak of it so similarly. Yet when someone shares their experience of the same catastrophe, but their version is quite different that the others, we assume it is not the norm and call it the exception. Statistics are based upon numbers and facts. If those whose experience is out of the ordinary and are not the norm, yet they do not speak up because it defies the stereotype; then we have no way of knowing the frequency in which their version of hell occurs. This makes data unreliable.
For example, if in the popular show 13 Reasons Why, a boy getting raped by a group of male high school students, with his head in the toilet and being sodomized with a broom- stick was disturbing to watch, then we must examine why no one gets outraged when a show depicts a girl being raped. The version of the boy rape is not the common rape scene. It is not the norm, it defies the archetypal standard of a rape. Therefore, we assume this is the exception. However, after this episode was released, many men and boys came forward to talk about their own rape experiences and as it turns out, it is not so rare and unusual.
This is merely one example of how our working knowledge of any common scenario is useless. We are unaware of the exceptions and just how frighteningly normal and frequent they actually are.
Please consider this the next time you open your mouth to judge someone’s tragedy- you don’t know the dirty circumstances, do you? Just because someone shares, doesn’t mean they are beholden to reveal all. Keep your mouth shut and be supportive. When people spill their guts, it’s not so you can psycho analyze them with your lay and lame views.