How can I forget that first experience?
I used to think that the whole world was as innocent and decent as they physically appear.
It was a Wednesday morning and I was still in the DEN (University of Nigeria Nsukka). I was on my way to lecture when someone jumped down from a bike (commercial motor cycle) and approached my friend. I thought he was trying to get directions from her so I went back to give him possible directions since she wasn’t to familiar with the area. That was when I saw the gun and I relinquished my phone (Nokia 3110c) and some cash.
To say I was shaken is an understatement of how I felt after that experience. Till tomorrow, every time someone particularly a man highlight’s from a bike around me, I start thinking of precautionary actions for my safety. If this man has a hand in his Pocket, that is an entirely different ball game. I start speaking in tongues and think about how I can react.
Some people will say that incident traumatised me, others will say I’m just being paranoid. Regardless what ever you call it or choose to see it, Trauma is a real emotional injury and should be treated as such. I wasn’t shot at, or beaten yet that event left an indelible mark on my life.
Think for a moment how people who have been through worse really feel. Consequences of severe high level stress events are Sometimes referred to as PTSD.
Some people assume that PTSD ( Post traumatic stress disorder) are meant for just people who have been to war or have been through extremely high level of stress but, I beg to differ. PTSD is not a respecter of persons or of events. People react to situations and circumstances differently.
PTSD can arise from being involved in an accident, a bad break up, violence and even verbal abuse. Regardless of what your triggers are, you are not demon possessed or weird, you are only reacting to a situation that has tempered with your emotional stability the best way you know how to.
Regardless, dealing with PTSD does not give you a hall pass to watch your life unfold before you with little or no effort from you. These are invisible wounds eating deep in to your sanity and mental health and the earlier you take the bull by the horns and fight back the “sooner “you can start to get your life back.
Life is 1% what happened / happens to you and 99% your reaction to that event. You can either choose to live in the anxiety, panic attacks and high level of emotional stress or you can gradually let go and seek help.
I understand that in this part of the world, mental illness is met with antagonism and “the lepper treatment” but there are so many places you can go to for help and one of them is Mentally Aware Nigeria.
If you feel that you can’t approach them you can talk to me on 08099998430.
Don’t let people’s perception of you deter you from getting the help you need.
PTSD is real and you need to fight hard to win that battle.
You know I’m here for you.