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Crimes against yourself: The crime of denial

WARNING: The opening of this blog may be confronting to some readers

Did you ever see the movie “The General’s Daughter”?  Released in 1999, John Travolta investigates the mysterious death of young military officer.  A confronting film that as it unwinds Travolta is trying to figure out the horror that occurred in this young woman’s life.  Investigations reveal that she was “inducted” during basic training.  He asks the question “What crime is worse than rape?”

The investigation unfolds where it is realised that the father of the officer, a General of the Army, has covered up the rape of his own daughter for the express purposes of saving the reputation of his military college.  What was worse than the crime committed?  The denial of the crime and the betrayal of his daughter.

I apologise if the opening of this blog sets a grim and confronting scene.  The point of this blog is that denial is a humanitarian crime.  And self denial serves no one.

Because of indifference, one dies before one actually dies.
–Elie Wiesel —


Have you ever talked with a friend or acquaintance, heard of their struggles and asked why they haven’t gotten help?  Only to hear the answer, “there are people worse off than I!” Maybe you’ve even told someone to buck up and be happy because others are worse off than they.

These are words that I often hear uttered to persons highly stressed, who are struggling with current circumstances and who are on the verge of depression or who are a experiencing acute depression.  “Oh you’ve lost your job, well my partner hasn’t been able to find a job in 7 years.”  “You think you’re having difficulties at home, you should try losing a child Exaggerated words … or are they.

We live in an abundant yet cruel world. Some have plenty, others have nothing. We are often cruel to each other. Particularly in Australia – the tall poppy syndrome is rife … cut each other down. Don’t let one another celebrate success.  There’s always someone worse off or better off than you.  There’s there is this false perception that if we take focus off of me, then we’ll automatically embrace the “we”… and all that is left is “us” vs “them”.


There’s someone else worse off than I.  It’ll be better tomorrow.  Everything happens for a reason.

Have you told yourself these things?

These statements are probably all true.  Compared to the horrors in the world, there are probably people worse off than you right now.

However, to deny your own needs, your own suffering, your own trauma and your own humanity – is to ensure that you will never be well, you will never be happy, and that you will never realise your full potential.

It is okay to seek help.  It is okay to be happy.  It is okay to be successful.  It is your birthright to live.

Deep down, do you want your family and friends to realise their full potential?  What would you give for them to be free of the past and to be happy?  Do you believe that your friends and family want the same for you?

What would you do to live the life you dream of living?


Yes it is! It is okay to ask for help.  We’re all fallible.

Whether you’ve done wrong to another and live with guilt, you’ve been wronged by another and live with shame, you’ve made mistakes, or are injured … ask for help.

You deserve it.

Release yourself from the grip of anger. Release yourself from the chains of shame. Release yourself from the burden of pain.

When you do so, you will realise what it is like to truly live.


It’s when you are free that you can bless the people around you.

Still worried about the orphans in Africa – get yourself back on track and you can be a blessing to them too.


I’ve answered no questions in this simple blog.

Do you need help moving forward? Don’t know who to call? Leave me a message below … I’ll put you in contact with people you can trust.

In the meantime, do something for yourself.  Then call that person you’ve been meaning to call.  Let them know that they’ve been on your mind.

After all we’re better together.

Hope is like Peace. It is not a gift from God. It’s a gift we can only give one another.

— Elie Wiesel —

For immediate crisis support call Lifeline on 13 11 14.  For advice and support for anxiety and depression visit BeyondBlue

David Clayton is the Principal Remedial Therapist at Myomasters Massage located in Hope Valley in the north east of Adelaide.  He has a passion for supporting humans to live the lives they were to born to live using massage and soft tissue therapies.  He has a particular interest in assisting people to recover from stress, anxiety and trauma using compassionate and nurturing touch.