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Rebuilding yourself


In physics, resilience defines the ability of a material to absorb the energy of a shock by transforming itself. Since then, this concept has spread as the idea of a positive capacity for adaptation: after being shattered by life's trials, a resilient person would become stronger, more solid. Would overcoming a psychotrauma be then a path to success or should we transform ourselves into a better version of ourselves than before the event?

We know at Cn2r that the reality is quite different: we are not equal when faced with traumatic events and we all do our best when we suffer from psychotrauma. Resilience is not a particular quality that a person may or may not have, but rather a set of processes that can be supported and accompanied collectively.

After a traumatic event, our ability to get on with our lives depends a great deal on our environment, our personality, our age, our entourage, the nature of the traumatic event, our physical health, etc. As each psychotrauma is unique, each reconstruction process is unique.

There are days when we take one step forward in our lives, others when we take three steps back. There are also days when we can't move forward at all. And then there are days when, for example, with the support of loved ones or a team of caregivers, we walk at a snail's pace or with great strides.

Sometimes strength and courage is simply getting up in the morning, having a coffee with a loved one, continuing your care journey, or accepting that some days are harder than others. But that there will also be better ones. At Cn2r, we believe that resilience is the possibility of regaining a satisfying quality of life.

Finally, our path of reconstruction does not have to be solitary: it must be supported collectively. If society as a whole cannot anticipate all traumatic events, it must accompany and support as best it can those who are experiencing psychotrauma.

The kintsugi

A Japanese craft technique, kintsugi consolidates and repairs a broken object by filling its cracks with gold powder.

This process requires time and patience. The traces of the shock are still there, underlined by the gilding. The object is transformed but it finds its purpose and use. Kintsugi can symbolize a life journey with PTSD. The person suffering from PTSD, even if he/she has recovered, is not quite the same.

As Géraldine, a member of the Community of People Experiencing Psychotrauma (CPaEP) of the Cn2r, expresses it: "We remain affected by what we have experienced, which, without necessarily haunting us for life, leaves an indelible imprint with, depending on the moment, its procession of ailments, more or less powerful and bearable. At a given moment, the trauma becomes a constitutive part of oneself, of one's identity, even if it is not reduced to it and fortunately. Like a ceramic welded by the kintsugi.


Beware, some words may offend the sensibilities of viewers.

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