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The Millennial Trauma Club

Writing by Sophie Rose // Illustrations by Mhari Grace

Writing by Sophie Rose // Illustrations by Mhari Grace

Welcome to the Millennial Trauma Club

We’re exclusive by necessity

You’ve known our members but you probably knew nothing about us

You stayed away because you hadn’t been invited yet

You were grateful not to be invited

Society reminds us to keep to ourselves

We are special and we are difficult

You will probably resent us for existing, for your having to be here with us, but we will love you unconditionally

You will scream and cry and bang your fists on our chests and tell us you hate us and we will hold you anyway

We will understand you in a way you wish everyone else could

We will be your family in that sense

We are not a fun club

We are not one you ever wanted to join

We know that

We know you didn’t want this

Want us

It’s so hard, I know, that we are one of your communities now

That we will always be one of your communities

The community of the stigmatized

Because we are young and we are traumatized


If you’re reading this it’s because you are suffering an immense loss

It’s because you feel as though your life has stopped

Or it’s because you feel as though your life is no longer yours

Or it’s because you feel that it’s a new life entirely

It’s because nothing fits anymore, nothing works anymore, nothing makes sense anymore

It’s because your heart is wailing with a ferocity you didn’t know it had

It is eating you from the inside out and it is insatiable

It is trying to find that part of you that’s missing now

It is trying to find the rose-coloured glasses you’ll never wear again

It is trying to find an out

It won’t be able to

And it will rip you apart over and over again trying to get back to Before

The second you build yourself back up it will tear you down again

You will get so tired of rebuilding and waking up will be hard and going to sleep will be hard and you will lose

people who will feel mildly badly about it but just don’t recognize you anymore and songs, foods, names, smells,

that once brought you joy may now bring you grief and your heart’s frantic, miserable hope will make it all worse


You are not alone

Your devastated devastating heart is not alone

All our hearts become friends in the Club

They have to

They’re the only ones who can really see each other

If you’re reading this it’s because you are a different you now

The last thing you want is to be here

To realize you won’t ever get to leave

If you’re reading this it’s because you’re one of us now

We are so sorry you are one of us

But listen: everyone else will eventually join you here

All the people who can no longer see eye to eye with you

All the people who pity you

All the people who float through life with a lightness you had yesterday a lightness you somehow can’t imagine

right now

All our friends, all our foes, at specific ages and unique stages, will experience a thing that will garner them an

invite to our prestigious group until at some point it won’t be prestigious or a group

More swiftly each year, in more numbers each year, members of our generation will trickle into the Club

It will no longer be a space that’s just ours

There will be too many of us

It will just be our collective life

It will be everyone’s normal

Does it help at all to know that you couldn’t have avoided it?

Does it help at all to know we signed a contract with pain as soon as we were born?

Does it help at all to know that all this means is that you’re one of the earlier members of a Club we have no

choice but to join?

For now there aren’t many of us

It’s our Trauma Club and it’s exclusive because we need each other and that’s what’s fair

It’s our Trauma Club and it’s exclusive because we need each other and that’s what’s not fair

I think I prefer being here on the earlier side

It has completely changed me and in some ways I think I don’t like me as much now but I am getting used to the me the Club has helped me become

I’m more raw and more cold and more angry and more anxious but

Also I’m stronger and wiser and kinder and I have integrity and conviction and I know how to fight and I I know what I believe in

And that’s a comfort

Because this is the me that I will live with forever

Being a part of this club

Meeting new me

Has helped me to understand things I couldn’t before

See things I couldn’t before

Connect with people I couldn’t before

It’s helped equip me for all of the other life events

All of the other clubs I’ll be a part of later on because

At twenty-two I learned how to go through the most terrible thing and come out okay

(I didn’t always feel like this

I wasn’t always able to see the positive

At first I tried as hard as I could to get out of here

I was so upset and so angry and so depressed that someone else put me here

And those feelings



I think maybe no one becomes fully themselves

Until they have been a part of the Club

Until they have had to deal with the worst life has to offer



If you’re reading this it’s because you don’t know what to do next

It’s still new for you

Those of us who have been here for a while

We are better at keeping busy outside the Club

We are better at involving ourselves in other things

But it’s never something we can predict

What our days here will be like

Some days we can’t leave the confines of the Club

We can only sit here and saturate ourselves in everything it means to exist in this space

Other days we can spend sunny sparkly hours outside and only tiptoe back here in our dreams

And then maybe the next day we’re glittery again

Or maybe we can’t leave again

We never know in advance

It’s linear as a whole

At some point we will reach a plateau

The as-healed-as-we-can-get plateau

But it’s not linear each day

Every day won’t always be better than the day before

Right now, as you’re joining

The Club may be all you can manage

It may be all you can think about

You may be too exhausted to do anything else

That’s okay

You may be numb

You may be livid

You may feel alright

You may not want to lean into it

You may want to sob

You may be confused and lost

You don’t know why you’re here

You don’t know why it’s you that’s here

You don’t know how to cope

You don’t know how to rid yourself of the hurt that feels like it’s either slowly poisoning all your insides or

rapidly stabbing all your insides or python-choking all your insides

You don’t know anything anymore

That’s okay too

I don’t have all the answers

None of us do

But we can sit in the not-knowing together

You’ve got us, okay?

We’ve got you

Welcome to the Millennial Trauma Club

We’re sorry you’re here

We’re glad to have you

Sophie Rose

A girl trying to make her way in this crazy world (currently Toronto). Her heart is split amongst the lovely people who’ve allowed her into their lives. She’s writing a book about them, and this. If you want to be a part of it, email about this piece and they’ll help get you in touch.


Mhari Grace

Mhari Grace is a published poet and freelance illustrator from the UK. She focuses mostly on line drawings and black and white. Mhari’s main interests across all her work is mental health and nature.

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