Posttraumatic Growth: Positive Changes in the aftermath of Crisis

By Crystal L. Park; Richard G. Tedeschi et al. | Go to book overview

4
Personality and Transformation in the Face of Adversity

Howard Tennen
Glenn Affleck
University of Connecticut School of Medicine

Accounts of personal transformation abound in literature, biography, autobiography, in the narratives of individuals who have been victims, and occasionally even among those who have victimized others (cf. Grass, 1990). Such changes are captured well in the reflections of a young father of an acutely ill newborn:

Right after she was born, I remember having a revelation. Here she was, only a week old, and she was teaching us something--how to keep things in their proper perspective, how to understand what's important and what's not. I learned that everything is tentative, that you never learn what life is going to bring. I realized that I shouldn't waste any more time worrying about the little things. (unpublished)

In this observation, made by a woman with infertility:

It has made me a stronger person, and has made me appreciate children so much more. It took determination and hard work to gain this strength, but it was worth the effort. (unpublished)

And in this description of personal transformation by a woman living with a painful chronic illness:

Living with this disease has taught me so many precious things that I wouldn't have learned if I were healthy. I guess the most important things it has taught

-65-

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