Welcome to Errattic! We encourage you to customize the type of information you see here by clicking the Preferences link on the top of this page.
How A Horror Movie About Trauma Made Me Realize How Toxic My Friendships Had Become
For many victims of trauma, especially childhood trauma and abuse, one of the hardest parts of recovery can be forming and maintaining healthy relationships. In my case, childhood trauma led to a serious distrust of others, a need for and fear of intimacy, and the frustrating symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I ended up seeking out other trauma survivors as friends, because we shared the language of pain. Years after those friendships died out, I saw myself in Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs (2008), a film about two deeply traumatized women whose unusual bond enables terrible violence. While I never helped my friends hide any bodies, the relationship between Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) and Anna (Morjana Alaoui) reflected many of my troubled adolescent friendships. Sometimes we’re so desperate to fix what’s “broken” in ourselves and each other that we can’t see we’re only causing more damage.
A 2009 study published in the journal Depression & Anxiety showed that women are more likely than men to experience depression or anxiety as a result of childhood neglect or emotional abuse. In addition, researchers found that in women, but not men, "perceived friend social support protected against adult depression" — and this was even after they accounted for "the contributions of both emotional abuse and neglect."
In my own experience, I find that the danger may be that some women cling to these friendships even if they become unhealthy, because they have a significant sentimentality toward them. I certainly did.