Wednesday, April 13, 2016

post-traumatic growth

PTG is a positive life change that follows highly stressful life events.  "Appreciable growth occurs within the context of pain and loss," which seems like a sucky way to grow.  Perhaps I haven't quite risen to a higher level of functioning than before, but that's where I'm aiming.  I feel like I've bounced back (finally) to the resiliency level, but haven't entered the PTG stratosphere yet.

There's a PTG Inventory that I took and started to score until I realized two things.  One, I had no key to score it.  And two, it felt counter-intuitive to get all competitive and try to get a good score on it.  Like if I'm really growing as a person, then numbers don't matter.  It was interesting to see what the focus was on though.

Much of this thought line came from finally getting my car maintained like a grownup.  I had most of the work the dealership recommended done at a private mechanic.  I asked him about the rest, and he said it wasn't necessary after inspecting my car.  Someone was gravely mistaken.  (I'm trying to be mature in my newfound PTG and not say LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE).

When I took the car in, I drove through a not as nice part of town to get there, and saw a chicken running around.  With its head still on thankfully.  That has nothing to do with my growth or my car.  I simply found it unusual to see chickens loose in a city that wasn't Key West.

While I'm off on a tangent, the young man who drove me home from the mechanic (and picked me up again) was highly entertaining.  Fkn millennials.   He starts telling me how great a driver he is and how he can multitask with his phone.  He can't.  And gets outraged when others do it.  Then he went on about strip clubs and women enjoying it, too.  I didn't think he was too much of a sexist bastard though because I overheard him speaking to his girlfriend on the phone.  He had the sweetest voice with her and asked about her day and how she was.  Awww.

Back to my personal growth.

I think of PTG, not closure, as my goal.  Closure feels like a lie we tell ourselves to make the pain stop.  Not only do I want the pain gone, I want joy, too.  I want to open my heart again.  Not just baby steps, but throw the gates (valves? that could be dangerous) wide open.  I want to be courageous and love without hesitancy again.  I'm not there yet, but it will definitely be on the path of my life's journey.

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