Is it possible that forgiveness can make you more important? Teresa Norton makes a strong argument that this could be the case in her recent blog entry! In this blog, Norton describes how forgiveness can be used to transform an encounter with a rude customer into a resolved situation that leaves the person being attacked content and even proud of their achievement in dealing with the rude customer. The role-play that she conducts provides important information for how we perceive ourselves in the context of other people and highlights how important forgiveness is when dealing with even minor annoyances. In addition, status and our perception of our place among those around us, can have a profound impact on our behavior and willingness to forgive. If we perceive ourselves to be of a lower status than those around us, we can use self-forgiveness to ameliorate the negativity that drives that assumption, freeing ourselves to be our highest and best self.
Dr. Charles Figley, who I quote in my book, is one of the foremost authorities on the effects of trauma and PTSD. He notes the following characteristics in the person with PTSD:
- Re-experiences the most traumatic aspects of the event many times, in flashbacks, memory, or dreams
- Makes efforts to avoid exposure to reminders.
- Is on edge, unable to relax.
- Is unable to think about the event without being obsessed.
- Experiences symptoms for more than a month.
He or she can also exhibits these symptoms:
- Phobia and general anxiety (especially among former POWs and hostages and natural disaster survivors)
- Drinking or drug problems
- Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair. and/or intense guilt
- Psychosomatic complaints, increased hospitalization
- An altered sense of time (especially among children)
- Grief reactions and obsessions with death (especially among those who survived a trauma in which someone died or could have died)
- Increased interpersonal conflicts and outbursts of anger, (divorce and violence)
- Absenteeism, criminal behavior, and truancy.
From: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy -AAMFT -Clinical Update Volume 2, Issue 5, Sept. 2000, http://www.aamft.org/families/Consumer_Updates/PTSD
_AAMFT_Clinical_Update.htm And from AAMFT Consumer Update on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, www.aamft.org/families/Consumer_Updates/PTSD.asp
Also See the webpage,“What is PTSD” It is put out by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Nation Center for PTSD and will answer most of your questions. http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/what-is-ptsd.asp