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    United States Moderator Mike's Avatar
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    Default Transformative Trauma

    This thread was inspired by Cara mostly, after a small exchange we had on the ask the mods thread.

    Her question was: what is the most transformative experience you've ever had? And how did it change you?

    Wow, great question!

    I answered it, but we both agreed that there was still some unpacking to do when it came to this topic, and a new thread was necessary. So here it is. I'll begin, and I suspect Cara will be along shortly to add some class to the thread.

    In my experience, the most transformative events were the most challenging and least enjoyable. Trial by fire, if you will. The more challenging and unenjoyable a thing becomes, the more unprecedentedly willing one will become to resolve it. Or, it can have the opposite effect, and bury you.

    Trauma creates enormous amounts of energy. That energy has to be expressed. You can use it as rocket fuel to send you soaring to new heights, or you can let it bury you. The key all lies in how you use that energy. You have to be a bit of alchemist, if you will, allowing a space where that dark energy can be utilized and transformed for something positive.

    What trauma forces you to do is choose. Sink or swim. The greater the trauma the greater the energy and the greater the potential for transformation(positive or negative). But it's a flirtation with madness, in a way. To *almost* go mad isn't a bad place to be actually. To go right to the edge, but to leave just enough space between you and the abyss to allow a return to sanity and a chance to articulate all you have seen and experienced - that's the hero's journey, essentially.

    What severe trauma doesn't allow you to do is lead an average life. Not for long anyway. There's too much energy involved. It lends itself only to extremes - extreme success or extreme failure. Or at the very least, a totally new way of seeing the world.

    I suspect trauma brought many of you here. I mean, no one just suddenly takes an interest in Mars' jumprooms, or shapeshifting reptilians. Something has to happen to you first. What I'd like to know is, What happened to you? And how did it change you?

    This here is a very interesting article suggested by Cara that speaks right along these lines: https://theconversation.com/is-it-tr...stronger-63376

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    Administrator Cara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Thank you Mike (says Cara, gingerly stepping into the room).

    I don’t have one very big trauma in my life; instead I have a series of experiences that have been very traumatic for me.

    Perhaps a place to start is one of the incidents I shared on diteras’s most interesting thread. I said:

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    I am haunted by a couple of news stories I watched as a child of 8 or 9 growing up.

    ...

    Another was a news report about a small group of people who had been necklaced (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necklacing) by a group of fighters (who were associated with a soccer club). They had been tortured and killed because they were suspected of being spies, of having dual allegiances. I still cry about this today. It shakes me to my core. And I feel that perhaps I am the “witness” that this event needs.
    A little bit of context might help. I grew up in the 1980s in South Africa. There was large scale political unrest, what might be described as a civil war perhaps. The situation was quite desperate for many people, for many years. Many people were killed, tortured, falsely imprisoned, beaten....

    While not all of this was shown on the television news, some of it was. My parents encouraged us to be aware of the broader context and we had many family discussions about what was happening and the different parties involved. So I was “tuned into” the chaos and violence of the struggle from an early age.

    I included a link to describe necklacing in my post above. If you are sensitive, I don’t advise following it. It is a cruel, painful torture and death much like being burnt at the stake.

    As a child of 8/9, although I didn’t see the actual act, the news story and my imagination was sufficient for me to recreate the experience of these poor tortured men in my mind. The pain I imagine is indescribable. The horror, the smell, the terror is inchoate to the extent that I cannot describe it.

    I am still not done processing this trauma and cry about it whenever I dwell on it. As I am crying now, as I type this.

    Aside from my own created experience of the trauma of these deaths, it is very difficult and painful to “hold” the fact that people can and do do this and many other terrible things to each other.

    ~~~

    A small musical interlude:

    Quote This is the original uncensored music video for Bright Blue's seminal South African song `Weeping'. It was filmed by Nic Hofmeyr on the Cape Flats in the late nineteen eighties, during the State of Emergency. Catch the `Nkosi Sikelela' bridge, snuck onto SABC airwaves despite the anthem's banning, and look out for the late Basil `Manenberg' Coetzee on sax, filmed in Manenberg township! The song has been covered by Josh Grobin, Vusi Mahlasela and others.
    This song also used to make me cry, but no longer does. I still find it strikes a chord in me.

    ~~~

    So, I am not done with the trauma of this incident. All these years later it still has immense power.

    It has transformed me in many ways.

    I find I have a “gift” for being present with the pain of others. I feel able to consider and “hold” the often ignored fact of death. I feel that I can in some way help by witnessing and transforming these in some way - perhaps only by being willing to be present to them without becoming consumed by them.

    I am not sure how I would be without this transformation. But certainly less.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Do see this thread:
    Probably the best interview I ever did.


    This story offers a teaching for us all: that no matter what has happened to us — and things have happened, and continue to happen, and will always happen, to ALL of us — there is always the opportunity, the potential choice, to heal and genuinely move on to face the future unscarred.

    Kathy Collins (Avalon Forum member Kathy) is a survivor of Satanic Ritual Abuse, from an age so young it was before she could talk or understand anything that was happening to her. In the video, she shares a spine-chilling, brief account of what she was subjected to, and endured.

    But that's not the point. Kathy doesn't want to focus too much on those details, which many of us have heard before from Cathy O'Brien, Cisco Wheeler, Svali, and quite a few others. She has found a way to move on, re-integrate, and forgive — and her journey may be a model for us all.

    The title of this video interview is From Trauma to Transformation : Kathy Collins' Story. That title was chosen because many people experience trauma in their lives, and it can stick them like glue. It doesn't matter whether it was Satanic Ritual Abuse, the loss of a loved one in dreadful circumstances, a terrible injury in war, or a betrayal in which one lost most everything one owned. All these things can make us feel like victims: disempowered, resentful, angry, embittered. But it doesn't have to be that way.

    For some of you reading this, this new interview may pack a bit of a punch. Please share it with anyone you may feel will benefit from the inspiration, strength and wisdom it contains.


    And do make sure you watch it right to the close. The Avalon credits at the end aren't the end of the video.

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    I suspect trauma brought many of you here. I mean, no one just suddenly takes an interest in Mars' jumprooms, or shapeshifting reptilians. Something has to happen to you first. What I'd like to know is, [I]What happened to you? And how did it change you?
    A fascinating and very astute question.

    In my own case, the trauma was a series of way-more-extreme-than-extreme events that happened at the end of my previous lifetime. The story is complex and unbelievable, and can't possibly be shoehorned into a single post. (It'd need a documentary!) But it's supported by well over a dozen recorded hours of regression, and explains a ton of things I never understood about myself and my experiences as Bill Ryan.

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by Mike (here)
    I suspect trauma brought many of you here. I mean, no one just suddenly takes an interest in Mars' jumprooms, or shapeshifting reptilians. Something has to happen to you first. What I'd like to know is, [I]What happened to you? And how did it change you?
    A fascinating and very astute question.

    In my own case, the trauma was a series of way-more-extreme-than-extreme events that happened at the end of my previous lifetime. The story is complex and unbelievable, and can't possibly be shoehorned into a single post. (It'd need a documentary!) But it's supported by well over a dozen recorded hours of regression, and explains a ton of things I never understood about myself and my experiences as Bill Ryan.
    Oh Bill, you tease!

    Please consider taking the time to write it out or make a video about it. I would love to hear this story.

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    I certainly had an intensely traumatic experience that focused me inward. My life changed for the better on that day. I saw myself for what I had been and became someone I like much more. My children even commented, "we like the new daddy much better". That simple statement from the two I cherish most of all was the fire for continued growth to this day.

    On a more esoteric note, the experiences of my two children required that I look at subject matter unfamiliar to me until then. The idea of ghosts, spirits, the afterlife, alien abduction, entities, dimensions and other was just fodder for jokes. Not so much now. Now it is real for us. I am thankful for those who share their experiences in detail. They keep me interested in learning and growing.

    Sometimes it seems there is a different person occupying my body than did 15 years ago. Odd, but refreshing.
    The quantum field responds not to what we want; but to who we are being. Dr. Joe Dispenza

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Sure did, Mike. OK I'll try and sum up what happened to me.

    When my child got taken from me it caused the most trauma I ever experienced, and I expect the reason why it was so traumatic is that I did NOT expect such a harsh outcome! I took 3 months stress leave from work.... that was a choice.

    My luck was suspiciously bad, then I found Tom Montalk's website while researching soulless humans, and things started to make sense to me. I found his Art of Hyperdimensional War article, and that's when the crap hit the fan, so to speak. The phrase "This Means War" became a part of my vocabulary.

    I can't exactly say my transformation was a "good" one, because I'm still pretty confused, but I do feel a bit less blind at least.

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Click image for larger version

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    I thought that this picture symbolised trauma and transformation.

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Thanks Peter UK.

    Your post reminded me of this wonderful excerpt from a poem by Hafiz:

    Click image for larger version

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    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

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    Default Re: Transformative Trauma

    Is it true that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger?

    It’s what we do with our painful experiences that matters.

    It may seem that wise, strong people typically have gone through a few hard times in their lives. By comparison, those who have led a very sheltered and privileged life often appear to crack more easily under pressure. But is it really true that some degree of pain and trauma can make us stronger? And if so, at what point does it destroy us?

    Seriously traumatic events – such as accidents or terrorist attacks – can evoke fear and helplessness in the face of a threat to life or serious injury. Fear responses are often more extreme if the trauma is unsystematic and random. That’s because the utter senselessness of the situation makes it difficult for individuals to interpret what is happening around them. How does one explain the mindless murder of the innocent, for example?

    These events corrupt the sense of confidence, stability and trust we have in the world. But miraculously it turns out they can actually help us be stronger – although not everyone. Indeed, psychologists have long been interested in why some individuals appear to overcome traumatic events and thrive while others appear unable to recover, continuing to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder or other mental-health problems.


    Building resilience
    Research on victims of serious trauma has found that about 75% of them do not appear to be significantly impaired after the incident, despite being stressed and traumatised at the time of the incident. So what characteristics do those individuals have that are different?
    First and foremost it is a quality that psychologists call resilience, the ability to cope and adapt in the face of hardship, loss or adversity. It is the capacity to deal effectively with stress and pressure and to rebound from disappointments and mistakes. A person with psychological resilience is able to solve problems and meet life’s challenges with confidence and purpose, demonstrating impressive self-renewal skills when necessary.

    Whether it’s chronic illness, sexual, physical or emotional abuse or fear and threat of violence, resilient individuals have better coping success when under psychological distress, higher self-efficacy and self-esteem as well as more optimism and hope. They also tend to have fewer psychological and health-related problems. Resilient individuals are typically also internally consistent, assertive, cognitively flexible, autonomous and have a personal moral compass and an ability to face their fears.


    Click image for larger version

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    Just-liberated concentration camp survivors at Ebensee.


    When studying the personality traits of resilient holocaust survivors, who had suffered extreme trauma and watched their families and friends die in the camps, we found that they were characterised by optimism, creative problem solving and acceptance of their situation. These people typically reported that they always had hope that they would somehow endure and that the story of their lives would one day be told.

    However, resilience does not have to come from extreme emotional and physical trauma. More than two-thirds of the general population will experience events they find traumatic in their lifetimes. Life experiences such as poverty, dysfunctional families and bullying can also have lasting impacts – it’s a dynamic interaction of a variety of influences such as personalty, coping responses and our appraisal of the trauma that shape us.

    Nature versus nurture
    It’s not entirely clear to what extent we are born with resilience and to what extent it is something that we learn. But it is certainly a construct that can be improved and built upon. Positive emotions help to establish a building block that broadens the domain of effective behaviours in regards to stress and trauma. However the building of resiliency must occur before a stressful situation – just like immunity to an infection or disease.

    But that’s not the whole story. Actually going through a trauma can provide us with the opportunities to become more resilient to the next life-impacting event. When going through tough times we get to know ourselves and learn about the behaviours that we exhibit when stressed – and how to best manage them. This in turn also helps build confidence.

    So does that mean that people with an “easy life”, who may not have had the opportunity to learn how to be resilient, are worse at it? While this could be the case, there isn’t any research on this, probably because it isn’t exactly straightforward how to define an “easy” life. What’s more, psychologists tend to study people who are traumatised – they are the ones that actually need our help. Having said that, there are people who may not have suffered much trauma but are nevertheless able to suddenly stand up and rescue 20 people from drowning instead of only saving themselves in a crisis – and this is showing a type of resilience.

    Ultimately, resilience is a complicated mix of personality and experience. Each of us has the capability to get back up and carry on, whether we use it or not. Having a sense of one’s own meaning is probably the most important characteristic of building resilience – everyone has something to contribute, everyone has extraordinary possibilities and strengths. Understanding your uniqueness is the first step to recognising your worth and is one way of beginning to improve your psychological resiliency. Hopefully, just knowing that it is something we can improve can help some of us move in the right direction.

    Pam Ramsden, University of Bradford

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