Smart Risk Magazine Spring 2018 | Page 18

18 AMANDA LINDHOUT SPRING 2018 odds, she still maintained a sense of hope that she would someday return home. As her captors intensified their cruelty, her coping methods evolved from humanistic approaches to more mental ones, as she dove deep within herself to the essence of her being, seeking a place of peace and light. She continually drew upon her memories and hopes to keep herself alive. A FACE OF RESILIENCY What was it really like for Amanda, living in a state of continual torture for months on end? Can anyone survive that type of unrelenting abuse, or would some perish under the weight of their own physical trauma and emotional hopelessness? “Resilient” is a word used often to describe Amanda and others who survive – and even manage to thrive – after unspeakable horror. In fact, the ability to survive and bounce back from difficult circumstances is a prominent topic of psychological research today. Amanda embraces the fact that she has become one of the faces of resiliency. When reading about resiliency in the psychological research literature, one quite literally finds Amanda’s name in it. A 2014 article in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology cites Amanda’s story recounting the 29th annual meeting of the International Society for Traumatic Stress studies, in which she participated. “SEEING HIS IMAGE HAS JUST BEEN HAUNTING ME.” According to her own account, Amanda continues to work on forgiving both her captors and herself. It’s a process, she says, more than a decision – a place she aspires to so she can free herself from negative emotions like anger and hatred. Her progress was sorely tested in June of 2015 when her key captor, Ali Omar Ader, was arrested in Ottawa, having been lured there on the premise of book publicity in connection with the abductions. When his photo was widely released throughout the Canadian media, Amanda was completely traumatized.