In the midst of me exposing more about Pizzagate & TBMC, this article takes a look at a little known silver lining in the cloud. I’ve worked with traumatized people for years, & here’s what’s well known: trauma gives psychological & spiritual pain–not to mention physical disabilities. (For instance, women raped as children have to have reconstructive surgery, and have emotional hangups.) Sufferers of PTSD (inc. DID) often find it hard to sleep & are hyper vigilant when awake; they often have suicidal feelings, & may feel emotionally numb, have fears & angers that float through them like ocean currents, and may find it hard to trust or relate to others. We are talking about despair causing life frustrations. That is the part that is well known about trauma. What is much less known are the transformative post-traumatic benefits,… that is what this is about!!
BIG DISASTERS ARE BIG OPPORTUNITIES. A number of researchers into human character, growth, & personality have determined that a person’s personality gets locked into a fixed pattern unless a seismic overwhelming trauma happens. Such a powerful trauma can often break the fixed pattern of thinking so that growth & benefits can take place. It can build a person’s confidence. I personally observed that rich people who had always got their way in life, were totally without the mental resources to deal with prison. “Why me? they pout, as if life has been unfair to be unsafe. (The Word of God teaches the opposite…that man is born into trouble.) The school of hard knocks had seriously provided those who had suffered traumas growing up with the tools to be successful. Survivors of disasters, when one speaks with them, have often changed for the better, they are stronger mentally & spiritually, appreciate life better, and appreciate deep relationships and the deeper things of life. Life has more meaning. When plants experience drought they sink their roots deep. Trauma can make a shallow surface person into a deep thinker. I know the experience in being locked up made me appreciate fresh air & being able to walk around and experience life, something most people take for granted. I know people who had near death experiences that transformed them for the better.
CHANGE FROM A CRISIS. Israeli researchers discovered that severe PTSD could be used to predict growth in a person’s character! When the American pilots who were captured & tortured horrifically by the North Vietnamese were interviewed, 61% of the pilots had received important benefits from their harsh captivity. They reported they were more optimistic, life had more meaning, and they got along with people better. The majority of Vietnam vets that had suffered, but had not gone through these kind of overwhelming life changing traumas, simply accumulated more negatives into their life. If the event is not a big enough disaster, it won’t have the power to unlock the personality’s fixed nature for growth. But don’t get me wrong, with the right attitude, even smaller problems can help growth. “All things work together for good to those who love God & are called according to His purpose…” ROM 8:28 I’ve seen people report back that brutal traumatizing training had surprisingly improved them, even though it was a miserable experience. Having God in our life helps us gain perspective & meaning to suffering. When you can take all that the enemy of Job (Satan) threw at him, and will throw at you, and still see God’s meaning in life…you have overcome the enemy. Christ did that even while on the cross.
GUILT. A group of men raised the American flag on Iwo Jima, an iconic photo was taken, and due to this famous photo, the ones, who were still alive, were brought back to the U.S. for a propaganda tour as heroes. The problem was that the men had been in combat & they knew raising a flag on a mountain for a few minutes did not make them a hero. They had watched men sacrifice themselves in combat bravely. They knew bravery, and they had to swallow their guilt each time they were put on display as heroes. They did not handle things well…one for instance, drank himself to death. Here we have an example of no overwhelming trauma, and many good things awarded someone who does not feel worthy, and it having the opposite effect–the undeserved rewards debilitated these men.
STRESSFUL FEAR & BRAIN CHANGE. The brain is physically altered by stressful fear. The body releases ghrelin, which in turn causes growth of the amygdala. Meanwhile the hippocampus which could calm things is physically shrunk by long term stress. And this in turn can effect how the amygdala perceives things. The brain of a multiple is physically different in a no. of ways from someone who does not have multiple personalities. An overactive amygdala means the person is more easily triggered into a reaction of anxiety. PTSD is essentially a fear disorder. T.B.M.C. should really be renamed Fear Based Mind Control. The traumas have created a situation where the slightest trigger can reactivate the stress. Definitely, there needs to be work to desensitize all these triggers so the person can regain normal control over the amygdala and not be so vulnerable. It is possible to suffer so much trauma, while the person has little spiritual & mental tools, that they end up without the ability to rebuild…this is why the title says “if it doesn’t kill you”…you have to have the inner resources to bounce back and rebuild stronger. A positive attitude helps.
THE POSITIVE IS THERE. Find your inner Braveheart. Find your Savior and release your burden. The survivor of trauma can find their own path, and can find a better version of who they were, because they are now unlocked to grow. I believe when survivors of trauma discover others who are worse off than they are who they can help, it helps them build meaning into their lives. Open communication with a trusted friend is helpful. By verbalizing, the brain can get things out in the open to examine them, instead of having them fester & mold in the dark. Journaling is also helpful. Some people find writing it into a book to be therapeutic. It is more valuable to be able to detect the positive in what has happened, than being optimistic. Studies in various countries validate that people who could frame some benefits from the tragedy recovered & grew much more rapidly than others. However, just having optimism about the future gave mixed results. Not that optimism is a bad thing. But more powerful are faith & hope in God. Struggling through tests is what we do here on this planet. We can transform the pain & suffering into positives for God. Your creative abilities are divine…God is creative, and we reflect that. There is a certain joy that people get when they tap into their creativity. How often is trauma the catalyst for art & poetry?
FINAL THOUGHTS. Perhaps we can reframe PTSD & MPD. First, MPD was a gift. Next, rather than seeing them as just negatives…perhaps we should appreciate that they steps toward growth. A growth that will allow a person to reinvent him or her self with a better narrative, a stronger faith, more creativity, and a stronger will & more confidence to survive. Be blessed my friend.