Statements from some of the women interviewed:
“Being part of the project definitely have me hope, and played a vital role in my healing. The interview was a pivot point in my understanding of my own trauma. I hope it brings clarity to PTSD sufferers and greater understanding and f PTSD to others.”
“It was a very emotional and enlightening experience.”
“On a very personal note [after seeing the episode about coloring trees by another interviewee], the bit about drawing trees with holes in them being common for childhood trauma: I always drew trees with holes in the roots, trunks, or big gaps in the leaves when I was growing up and am still prone to leaving blank spots in trees in my art. That was really interesting. I gained a lot of insight being able to experience the different expressions of triggers and trauma responses in the stories. They really show how there is no one size fits all, textbook way of having PTSD and maybe we ought to rethink how we manage clinical care of people with PTSD.
I had horrible experiences where nobody believed me, and I was treated with the wrong medications and treatment plans for over four years, which made everything so much worse. I frequently questioned my own sanity. I don’t want anyone to ever feel like that and try to educate as much as possible. This project represents, for me, the ideal expression of that education. I would happily contribute a million times over if I could and see this expanded into a whole movement. I really hope this humanizes and starts a dialogue around PTSD.”
“Thank you. I feel heard. I hope it helps people not feel ashamed or alone. I hope it drives people to tell their story.”
“ I’m sharing my story so others feel less alone. [My personal impact was that] To be seen and heard collectively is powerful and change making. [I hope the videos] help others believe survivors and better understand how to support them.”
After seeing the first few videos created from their stories:
“Wow! I don’t know what to say, Thank you this means a lot.It’s a level of “freedom in telling my story” that’s foreign but empowering/”
“That’s really powerful! I feel like they even got the inflection of my voice right! [Despite actresses not hearing interview and only having script.]
“It’s really brilliant. I love it! I’m thrilled…. I really want to see this whole vision come together. I think you’re doing really great work”
Statements from Beta Anonymous Viewers:
(Psychiatrist): I am a psychiatrist who diagnoses and treats PTSD every day for my patients. Trauma is pervasive in many people’s lives and affects their nervous system for the rest of their lives. I have a lot of knowledge about PTSD and have heard many similar stores from my patients. I can say that many of them are surprised to hear me tell them they have PTSD, so a project like this would be invaluable for helping people hear stories that will help them understand and encourage them to seek help. I know my patients would feel less alone hearing these stories.
(Paralegal): Personally, I could relate with the stories…I gained further understanding about the types of life events than can create PTSD. I felt less alone as someone who has experienced their own events in life, it helped me understand that I am far from alone and that probably the vast majority of people have some sort of impactful event in their life that has created a triggered response. ..It helped me think about how everyone reacts differently emotionally to different scenarios. And that with that understanding, I can approach others with a more solid foundation of understanding and acceptance.
(Indie Filmmaker) . I felt heard…and made me hope for better hope for more people that have dealt with similar situations or are currently going through it. I personally hope that more people find peace and healing with these knowing there’s people out there fighting with them!! I feel like it’s an amazing call to action!
(Admin Assist): Yes [I felt less alone]. Just a reminder that there can be help out there, ways to better cope and address it. Overall I believe it just allowed me to see others trauma and feelings about it a little better. That even through all they endured, that they see and have hope.
(Chemical sales, consulting): I did learn some new things about triggers that I had not considered from my own perspective. It did not occur to me that just the simple act of shaving could lead to self harm/cutting. I also did not consider eating a PTSD response, but I now realize it clearly is. I did feel heard on the topic of childhood abuse and can relate to that topic readily.
(Teacher): Unfortunately, I don’t think I learned too much new about the topic overall. I encounter entirely too much of it in my profession, and combat that, and my own, on a daily basis. Episode 5 made me feel attacked, and in a lot of ways, that has to be a good thing. She said, “So I’m learning to choose REAL power, instead of hiding behind an illusion.” Which, if I can ever find a moment of honesty with myself, is all I’ve done to cope.