I hate the words “victim” and “survivor”.
“Victim” because it admits injury. “Survivor” because it implies temporal vulnerability and weakness.
All other terms and adjectives to describe the same things sound inaccurate, and completely artificial when speaking of those who have experienced human cruelty and who have been familiar with danger, violence, predators, and life-threatening circumstances. So, I’ll be referring to you as the hero, or heroine. Your enemies are: Negative self image, low self-esteem, PTSD, and saboteurs.
Weaponize your trauma.
Identity, is a great place to start in zombifying your enemies into slaves. Define yourself, on your terms, and “fake it till you make it” if you need to, Hero. Now that you’ve been through some shit, the world, both the public and those in your circle, are going to view you differently; it’s natural. They label you “victim” and make you feel damaged. They label you “survivor” and you are patronized.
Define your image as powerful. If you’re of a gentler breed and lean on the forgiving end, adopt an image that is benevolent, empathetic, and all peace-absorbing (the other powerful).
Take what the world expects you to be post-trauma and turn it on it’s head. You define how you move forward and that begins with curating a new you. Remember, this is only important because of how you view your self. It does not MATTER what they think of you.
The enemy breeding self-harm through negative self-image becomes the slave that builds you stronger and dutifully serves your healthily operating ego.
A seat of power. If you’re wondering why you should feel powerful post-assault (or bombing, massacre, hijack, etc.) it’s because you have occurrences added to your experiential database that are completely filtered through the subjective of who you were at the time. Why is this valuable? Because it’s information!
The human intuition is an actual mechanism for survival. Your intuition is fed and updated daily with a constant barrage of experiences. Each experience, sensory bit, thought, feeling, reaction, and sight is processed at an unconscious level and the pertinent information needed at hand is then delivered to your conscious mind via the subconscious. When you can’t explain why you shouldn’t take the car to work logically, it’s your intuition delivering information it received the other day in passing on the radio about a storm, and you know “deep down” the roads will be slick and your break pads need changing. The intuition goes from A to Z without stopping at any other letter along the way. When you need to make a decision in the moment and don’t have time to logically ask yourself the qualifying questions and analyze the answers to arrive at the best choice, intuition is your mechanism to deliver infos at lightning speed.
Having been through trauma, these experiences add valuable information to your database that you should utilize for the future safety of your self. (Yes, it does happen that intuition is fed with dis-information, or manipulative misinformation and that will in turn cause our internal mechanism to operate based on inaccuracies. This is dangerous! A talk for another time, I’m afraid.)
The enemy generating low self-esteem becomes the communicative slave that empowers you through self-counsel that builds confidence.
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (If you’ve never experienced this, this article may not be for you). You hate fireworks, the dark, sudden noises, guns, doors, running water, a name, a song, a place, a scent, a person. Triggers set you off. You’ve developed OCD, or some other quirk.
Embrace this. This is an important part of who you are now. Remember this is a process and the quicker you integrate and customize this PTSD the faster you’ll be better to your best. To be honest, I’ve never seen anyone completely “get over” their PTSD. I’ve just seen people trying so desperately to eradicate it “completely” from their lives, crumbling under the pressure to do so and feeling miserable each time it rears it’s head. I ask of you: pet it. Keep the monster as a friend, at first a pet on a leash to train, whom over time you will trust enough to walk independently at your side obediently and faithfully.
I’ve taken a severe paranoia of my personal safety to the level of creating a militarized lifestyle for myself that makes me feel secure enough to walk out my front door. Yes, the details appear quite bizarre to the public, friends, and some family. That doesn’t matter, though. If you’re a woman, you needn’t have experienced a direct attack to feel fear walking to your car in a parking garage late at night, or a little uneasy when your date overreacts and you see a flash of temper. By the way, the worst that can happen for a guy on a date and the worst he fears is that he is embarrassed and/or rejected. For a woman, the worst that can happen and the worst we fear is rape, kidnap, assault, and death.
The world is still a very dangerous place for every woman whether she be a rebel in a conflict-laden country or a six-figure earning member of a prestigious household in a western society.
Something fucked up happened to you. Give yourself some slack and don’t judge yourself for how your unconscious mind is processing it. Lean into it. Exploring your PTSD will aid you in internalizing the process. Observe it from the widest lens possible. You are not your explosive anger. You are a human briefly experiencing explosive anger. You are not anxious. You are temporarily experiencing anxiety. Get it?
Resolve to healthily incorporate your new little quirks. Take control over the scary and damaging side effects, and greatly reduce the stress and pressures associated with “dealing with” PTSD. This does require creativity, so feel free to reach out to me with your problems and I’m more than happy to offer some creative and healthy solutions.
I sometimes teach Body Language Reading & Intuition Study to classes and individuals; One client came to me suffering from night terrors where he’d jolt awake in a deep sweat. I privately counseled him through his nightmares (his subconscious attempting to process the trauma) and assigned a specialized routine he’d have to perform each time he’d wake. He now sleeps through the night without a problem.
When you accept these shiny new parts to you they will strengthen as time goes on. Imagine yourself one year from now, proud to have something interesting and unique to potentially share with others.
To each depressing and life-beating obstacle that comes your way post-event you should then ask yourself, “How can this slave serve me?” “How can I use it to be strong?” Your PTSD is no source of shame, it’s you internalizing some process. You decide what use it can serve as a slave or just how much this enemy can devastate you.
The enemies that the remnants of your trauma create become the slaves to your current lifestyle, dutifully serving some practical purpose to assist your new heightened awareness.
Saboteurs. Dealing with saboteurs will take every exhaustible and inexhaustible resource you have to defeat them. You must call on every slave, tool, and weapon in your arsenal. Mitigating risk to zero when dealing with the uncontrollable factor of another person is an extremely volatile exercise, especially since you’ve seen war (in your own form as some sort of assault was made against your safety and well-being) and will respond differently to human aggression now. Whether there is someone at work trying to sabotage your advancement to a lucrative position or an un-cooperating family member that cannot accept the new you, you will need to discipline the mind and steel yourself from their slanderous and verbal assaults to the best of your developed ability. Without launching in to an entirely new piece of writing, what I will say is this: do NOT let them turn your slaves back into enemies!
You control your slaves: THEY work for YOU.
Do not surrender control of the slave that dutifully re-affirms your identity. What people think is their business, refuse their projections and maintain control of your self-image.
Do not let petty people devolve you into one that reacts from a position of insecurity, low self-esteem, and weakness by hijacking the voice of the slave that is there to maintain your confidence.
Do not allow any persons shaming, guilt, criticism, or manipulation to mutate your little lifestyle slaves back into PTSD enemies! Judgements and aggravations are a means of control, which you must maintain over yourself and your private inner kingdom.
Perhaps you were a happy extrovert, and are now reticent. Perhaps you were already an introvert, and are now a deeper introvert or close to complete recluse status.