This is a blog about post-traumatic SHINE. Post-traumatic shine is my word for post-traumatic growth….Post-traumatic growth is actually “a thing”…. It is a proven thing that psychologists have written about in psychological texts for a considerable length of time. One day, when I’m less busy, I’ll research it myself and write a decent post on it-afterall, it is the underlying concept that this blog is based on. The post will be called…”What the psychologists said” or something else equally scholarly.
I am a psychology graduate twice over, but now an essentially normal person. A stay at home mum, a blogger. I don’t have access to university libraries any longer…though I wish I did.
You just have to take my word on it for now though when I say “POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH” is an actual bona fide psychologically-proven thing.
Much is written about post-traumatic STRESS, in the context of PTSD, and I agree PTSD very much exists, as I experience it and write about it a lot…but post-traumatic growth by contrast is somewhat neglected in the media or popular self-help psycho babble books.
It is far easier to notice distress than triumph. It is far more salient to spot suffering than strength. It is far more compelling to notice those who have their whole lives ruined by something, than those who have shit beginnings then go on to achieve things of epic amazingness (which they were unlikely to have had the drive to pursue without the sculpting of trauma leaving it’s imprints on their psyche).
The trouble is, once someone has a psychiatric label around their neck (or two or three), people are inclined to stop perceiving you as a graceful eagle and far MORE likely to perceive you as a useless waddling dirty pigeon.
And quite frankly, as someone with BPD and PTSD who is now functioning better and doing better and feeling better and achieving better than I ever have since I was gifted with these labels, I really wish people would STOP perceiving me as a useless scruffy pigeon tied with chains to the ground, when I am really a graceful, soon to be high-flying eagle, soaring into the sky with ease and skilfully hovering there.
“I’m not a pigeon. I’m an eagle. DEAL WITH IT”, I wanna say to any doubters.
Before you leave angry comments, I am NOT saying people with mental illness are pigeons [!!!] It’s a simplistic metaphor for the purposes of this blog post to differentiate between those who are currently struggling, compared with those who are currently or soon-to-be soaring, after a period of psychiatric illness/breakdown/trauma.
Stop trying to keep me chained to the ground when I know I’m taking flight and flying higher and higher as time unfolds.
Stop limiting me with your post-traumatic stress notions please people, when my personal belief is in post-traumatic growth.
When I write, I write about the whole picture. I write when I’m having a fed up moany moment. I write when I’m having a triumphant, fabulous moment, and I write when I feel floaty, numb and completely dissociated from my surroundings. I write when I’m sad, happy, up, down, turning around and doing the hokey cokey, because that’s what [BLOGGING] is all about.
If I’m having a pigeon ‘moment’ and I write about a struggle scenario (a snap-shot of time), that does not make me a pigeon. You are treating a verb as a noun.
Sometimes I pigeon (verb- “to pigeon”)
But I am not “a pigeon” (noun- a type of street dwelling crumb eating essentially useless and greedy bird). (Again, I am NOT saying people with mental health conditions are greedy, eat crumbs off the street and are utterly useless. IT’S A CLUMSY METAPHOR! OK]
The way I feel, certain people (a handful), are still seeing me as the pigeon I once was, and not revising their perception to include the potential of me taking flight and becoming a post-traumatic shining high-flying eagle.
Pigeons CAN become eagles. Just like eagles can become pigeons, given the right cocktail of adverse life experiences.
Maybe it takes a while for people to notice the survivor bird in front of them, which is changing and morphing from one type into the other. OR maybe people like the concept you will always stay a pigeon, because that makes them feel better about how they’re struggling themselves.
Two pigeons can become friends-united by their mutual struggles, but the discord begins when one bird becomes more eagle-like and strong, and the other does not. Sometimes people who are pals with another pigeon have a vested interest in that pigeon pal staying a pigeon so they can be pigeon pals living on pigeon street. But what if one of those pigeons quite fancies life as an eagle, with other eagle types, flying high where eagles meet?
Nice pigeons are happy when their pigeon pals start hanging out where eagles meet, favouring that over pigeon street. Occasionally though you will meet a grumpy pigeon who wants you to keep them company on pigeon street forever. They don’t want any growing or wing spreading to happen on your part. They want you to remain a struggler.
I rebel against that. I won’t stay a struggler forever, just so the pigeons aren’t lonely. Sometimes I will pigeon (a verb-to pigeon) but I am not a pigeon (noun) anymore.
I am an eagle committed to enhancing my personal strength and personal development and post-traumatic shine. I will learn to fly and I won’t let my wings be clipped or chains to be attached round my ankles keeping me down to forage for psychological crumbs on pigeon street, when I know I am destined to fly where eagles meet!
Most people are happy about this post-traumatic change in me. I appreciate those that are. Those that aren’t can ‘waddle on’ as far as I’m concerned.
I will spend time with the believers, the dreamers, the doers…and enjoy life where eagles meet. Fuck pigeon street. I hung out there way too long.
This is my time to shine- to post-traumatically grow, and I won’t let any grumpy pigeons clip my eagle’s survivor wings.