After an unintentional hiatus from movie-going, I went to see Split this past weekend. I’d already heard the basis of the movie, but given my bent for Psychological Thrillers, I needed to see for myself how the plot played out.
I must say, it exceeded my expectations. I, for one, do believe in Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as a diagnosis. Prior to completing my graduate program, this is something I never gave consideration. As my knowledge of DID increased, I realized that, in short, identities are formed as protective mechanisms in response to trauma. I was sold! Having experienced trauma (sexual and emotional) in childhood and adolescence, I totally got it!
While multiple personalities can be problematic for those on the outside. For the broken, they are a functional response to the need to self-protect and self-soothe.
Aside from James McAvoy playing the mess out of his role—or roles shall I say—there were a few components of the film that really struck a chord with me. So as not to spoil the movie for those who haven’t seen it, I will just share the line that made me sit straight up in my reclining seat. There was a moment when one of the identities realized the girl in his company had also experienced trauma. As the identity observed the physical evidence of her brokenness, he was consoled. Of the many things he exclaimed in that moment, the most profound for me was, “the broken are the evolved!”
This gave me chills! I actually wrote in Licking Our Trauma Wounds, I believe people who’ve experienced trauma have supernatural powers. There is a sensitivity to the subtlest dynamics that you have when you’ve experienced trauma that I’m not sure anyone else could ever fathom.
It was as if this line, jumped right off a page from one of my journals. I wholeheartedly believe the broken are more evolved. There’s a greater ability to relate experientially and empathically. As we pursue healing, our inclination is not to major on the minors. And, we in large part, make up the helping professions. Again, speaking to that aptness to sit and be effective in others’ difficult circumstances. There is an uncanny uniqueness about this bunch, for sure!
The effects of trauma are indeed lasting. I’ll admit though, it’s not always all bad. In my own life, I know that I am a more passionate and compassionate person as a result. It’s probably why I am a “LOVE” junkie. I’ve also noticed the only times I really get angry is when I feel someone is being wronged. It’s interesting because I can often shake off offenses directed at me, but my heart will break when I see someone else being mistreated. I think my gift that formed in response to my trauma is being able to sit with others in their pain. According to Henri Nouwen, I’d be considered A Wounded Healer—a title which I humbly accept.