Fandango provokes us into thinking once again with his provocative question of:
“Does hardship really make a person stronger? If you think so, under what conditions and at what point is it too much hardship? If you don’t buy that hardship makes a person stronger, what do you think does make a person stronger?”
Hardship does make a person stronger, where hardship can take an unlimited number of forms. Each person is a unique combination of “biopsychosocial” components, which is each person’s physical and psychological make-up within their social environment. The hardship can hit anywhere in that arena.
Nothing exists in a vacuum. Whatever “hits” us will result in a response of one sort or another depending on who we are. Whether it’s one hit, random hits, a campaign (e.g. institutionalized oppression), or a pattern of hits will make a difference.
It is important to remember it is us within our social environment, which means how others act upon us, we act upon them, how others respond, individually or as a group, is crucial to understanding how many variables are at work. This means there is no way of pre-determining or developing a formula for any conditions of what kinds of hardship or how much of a hardship is too much. There is a way of maybe looking at generalities as far as trauma responses go.
What is hardship? When does hardship become trauma? Some research has been done on trauma responses in varying situations, but I think that research is in its infancy. One study that was done awhile ago but is gaining prominence again in the study of trauma is the Adverse Childhood Experiences study. It lays out the correlation between certain trauma experiences a person had as a child and the connection between unhealthy manifestations in adulthood.
Click here to see it and to take the test.