Outlander PTSD And Claire’s Suffering
Sound and smell are powerful triggers for PTSD and while that storyline was not in the book, I think it is highly appropriate to show Claire’s vulnerability after all she has endured.
We tend to forget that over the space of approximately 2 years Claire has been through a number of traumatic events. Not the least of which was falling through the stones and losing everything she knew, being thrust into an era where she was indeed a fish out of water, thought to be a spy and effectively being held prisoner, then forced into a marriage against her will, assaulted by the British, having to rescue Jamie and then to tend to his injuries and then flee Scotland.
France was not much better, she was poisoned, assaulted, torn with conflict about the husband she had left behind, suffered the tragic loss of her baby, forced to have sex with the King to free Jamie from the Bastille and then flee France.
I may have missed something, please let me know in the comments. If Claire was to complete one of those tests about traumatic life events I’m positive she would score so high they would want to wrap her in cotton wool for weeks.
So please forgive her for being a little testy with lard bucket and big heid when they thought trench foot was insignificant. Likewise, forgive her for giving the cheeky, loveable Fergus a bit of a blast for playing instead of getting Milord’s water. Have mercy for her, as she knows what is coming and is powerless to stop it. She fears for those she has come to love, her new family of Highlanders, not mere names from a history textbook anymore, but living breathing honourable people.
Having experienced war first hand she relives the terror and horror of war, of seeing people you know die. Perhaps for the first time, she has allowed her memories of WWII back into her conscious mind. She knows what many of the men cannot, the reality of war and the impossibility of the task ahead. Not only that, she feels the failure of their attempt to change the course of history.
If you, or anyone you know is suffering from PTSD, please seek help.