I've seen cases where someone had something admittedly horrible happen to them, but everyone went on and on about how AWFUL it was, poor dear, and you MUST talk about it, and DEAL with it, when in fact it might have been better for the victim to just get on with his or her life and not dramatize for others.
It's the parents, peers, spouses or others who sometimes seem to be demanding this kind of endless perusal of past horrors. I know this is not a popular position, but sometimes it IS better to get on with life. Kids often do not know how close they came to something tragic happening to them, and of course the perpetrator must be punished. But this isn't about that--it's about how a victim gets over being victimized, and often the answer is NOT to tell someone "You don't know how bad it was!"
I'm reminded of stories which have appeared on FR from college women who went on dates that didn't pan out, and after a few days of having their feminist pals telling them "You were date raped and didn't know it!" they suddenly press charges. I am NOT saying such things don't happen, I am saying they don't ALWAYS happen.
Similarly, a kid who's had to suffer certain instances of abuse (I have personal experience with just this kind of thing) SOMETIMES--I emphasis sometimes--is not traumatized. The criminal scum needs to be shipped off to jail, but sometimes the kid was unaware of what happened, or almost happened. Putting her or him in years of therapy often exacerbates the problem.
This isn't about hard-and-fast rules, but sometimes living in the past, particularly a frightening or painful one, is not conducive to good mental health. It depends on the situation. Too often we are in this "Get in touch with the thing you're hiding in your past" crap which leads to years of guilt and shame for the victim, when what they really need is to accept what happened but move on and live in the present, not endlessly chew over the past. Millions of lives have been spoiled by this misguided process, and it's refreshing to see that people are starting to come around and, when applicable, say "It happened, it's over, I'm fine, I'm gonna move on and not live like this thing done to me is the defining event of my life."
Talking about bad things that happend to me only pisses me off all over again. You relive the crap when you talk about it.
I came across something similar describing the useless or counterproductive results of psychotherapeutic efforts for survivors of mass tragedies, e.g. school shootings and the World Trade Center, because they assume everybody must have the same reaction and either responds positively or at least appreciates their psychotherapeutic efforts.
About 20 years ago somebody did a study of Holocaust survivors. They found that the folks who put it behind them and went on to other things were in better shape physically and mentally than the ones who dwelt on it constantly. That's not to denigrate those like Elie Wiesel who made it their life's work to track down the perpetrators . . . but one pays an emotional and physical price for immersing oneself in horrors.
Or, as a character in a novel once said, these things don't grow into monsters if they're kept in the dark instead of being constantly brought out and fertilized with tears.