I can recall sitting in my “psychology of personality” course as a college sophomore, a few years ago or so, and asking the professor if certain hardships have a tendency to change someone. (I usually come from the school of thought that we all encompass an underlying essence that remains the same, but I’m using ‘change’ here to imply an outwardly drastic difference in character.) He adamantly nodded, and then went onto explain how being immersed in intense family conflict can induce an aftermath of psychological effects.
I remember asking the question since, at that time, I knew someone who appeared as a stranger to me. This person’s inner light seemed dimmer than what it once was. It was difficult for me to grasp.
However, I was aware that this individual had endured recent traumatic experiences. From then on, I always wondered whether particular traumas or stressors could pave the way to an overt transformation.