Hannah Gadsby Quote
This is a quote from the comedian Hannah Gadsby’s Nannette special, which was a powerful and moving performance. Her point was that the stories we share with one another is the thing that holds the cure to many of life’s ills. I see this daily in my work. When a person can share their story and truly be heard and seen, that is a powerfully healing experience for the teller and a profoundly moving experience for the listener.
I find in my work that the stories we tell about ourselves and what happened to us are hugely important and shape the way we filter information about ourselves and our world.
Hannah also said that “you learn from the part of the story you focus on.” I see it in the way trauma survivors frame their experience. Do they focus on the part of how foolish they believe they were and how their behavior led to a bad thing happening? If so, then their outcomes are poorer and they are more likely to suffer from symptoms and develop PTSD. It will also shape the way that they see themselves in an on-going way, and they are more likely to seek information from their environment that confirms their badness and responsibility.
On the other hand, do they focus on the part of how they fought to survive or the way that others came to their aid?
Now, I am not saying that the impact is only in our attitude and perspective, but it certainly makes a difference. And this attitude and perspective are shaped by the lives and experiences they previously had, so it remains a complex issue.