Sympathetic Survivor

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Hannah has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms

  • Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares

  • Emotional numbness and avoidance of places, people, and activities that are reminders of the trauma

  • Increased arousal such as difficulty sleeping and concentrating, feeling jumpy, and being easily irritated and angered

Hannah's diagnosis criteria involved

  • Continuous threat of serious injury or violation

  • Continuous and direct experience of traumatic events

  • Learning of the traumatic accidental event that eliminated my family dog-member 

Hannah's experience of PTSD persists

  • Spontaneous and cued recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic events

  • Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content or feeling of the dream is related to the trauma 

  • Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world

  • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others

  • Hyper-vigilance and obsessive behaviours

Hannah's ability to gain strength over her experience of trauma and PTSD is the manifestation of Sympathy at Slaughter. After suffering trauma and abuse- Hannah resonates with the animals life-time experience and final day bound for slaughter. Witnessing the horrors of their reality brought Hannah outside of herself and her situation. Suddenly, she was not only fighting for her own freedom- but the liberation of each animal suffering at the harm of a human hand. 

The individual expression of Hannah's PTSD has blessed her with a heightened sense of morality and ethicality surrounding animals and animal suffering. Compulsions can follow trauma; Hannah's obsessive and hyper-vigilant behaviour has resulted in her continued presence at the slaughterhouse.

Hannah's presence at the slaughterhouse revolves around her sympathetic (empathic) connection to the animals and the recognition and acknowledgement of what they are going through while documenting their terror and trauma in order to save prospective animals from suffering the same fate.