Most of her childhood (since she was 4) is riddled with testing and inhumane treatment because of being exposed to elemental zero while in the womb.
Jack is a biotic. A space mage, if you will. She is assumed to be the most powerful human biotic because of the testing and harm that happened to her.
When you first meet Jack, she is angry that you, Commander Shepard, came to her in a ship funded by the people that harmed her for years. She wants to know everything about the project, Subject Zero, she was apart of.
When you do her loyalty mission, you learn not only was she tortured, other children were subjects to test out various ways to make biotics stronger, in turn killing THEM to make HER great.
You learn that this organization pit these children against each other to see who was stronger. Jack always won. Her peers hated her. She was lonely and suffering from trauma that would break any full grown adult.
When she escaped her hell, she took to a life of crime. To be honest, it’s understandable. After being locked up, being tortured, forced to fight your peers and seeing murder, wanting to take out your aggression on everything and everyone seems reasonable.
Jack is mentally unstable, but likes to say that she is “fine”. It sounds very familiar to some of us with mental illnesses due to childhood trauma.
However, for some weird reason, her trauma is what makes her attractive in a bad way. Had she been more quiet and shy while being a killing machine, people (read: men) would feel like they HAVE to save her. But, since she’s a crazy, biotic bitch, people will flock to her because she can hold her own, who doesn’t need saving, even though she NEEDS it.
You can have casual sex with her, but she won’t be interested in actually having any type of relationship because you already got what you wanted from each other.
If you do get to know her, she is unsure about life. She has survivor’s guilt and doesn’t know how to handle life outside of being angry and harming herself and others.
Surviving childhood trauma shouldn’t be looked at as some sort of “Welp, at least you survived! You good now, right?”. Childhood trauma lingers in your soul, showing up when you least expect it. You don’t “survive” childhood trauma. You constantly live it. You learn to navigate life trying to suppress feelings and emotions that show up when you see something from your childhood that reminds you of the trauma. You learn to say “I’m fine, I’m okay” when all you want is for someone to not judge you for crying about what happened to you. You build a shoddy wall to hide it, but there are cracks and small holes that need patched and filled because the trauma seeps through.
It’s also very dismissive when people are attracted to how “strong and resilient” you are for “surviving”. The survivor only appears strong because they are told to not talk about their trauma. They are only appear strong because no one listened during their darkest time and they had to keep quiet.
Is it strong to bottle up your trauma? Why is it deemed weak to talk about your childhood trauma and accompanying mental illnesses? Why is it that people only care about people and their mental illnesses until they either snap and/or kill someone and/or themselves?
Why are we telling children who experience trauma to just get over it? We are we telling them to not talk about? Why aren’t we helping children?
Because children aren’t people until they grow up into a survivor that we’re attracted to because of their strength.