Hi everyone, my name is Harmoni Goetz. You can call me the PTSD Heroine, ‘cause that’s what I call myself. I decided to share my story as it might help someone out there.
It all started when I was thirteen. I was the typical bubbly type that brought smiles to the faces of those around me. I was very naughty and I loved to have fun. Unfortunately, all that changed when my family met with an accident. An accident that I blamed myself for because it was I who persuaded my parents to take me on that particular holiday trip. On that ill-fated trip, we met with a fatal accident.
I woke up in the hospital to hear that my dad was gone. The man I loved so much, was no more. My whole world turned upside-down and I was sure that I would no longer be able to live a normal life.
I blamed myself persistently and I didn’t stop thinking that it was my fault; only if I hadn’t persuaded them to take me on a holiday. My mum always told me it wasn’t my fault, but her words didn’t change a thing. I knew for sure that I am to blame. My want for a holiday trip like every kid my age costed me my father’s life.
The incident change me. I, who loved food so much, couldn’t even eat well. I also mostly kept to myself. The bubbly girl everyone once knew was gone; replaced by a sadist and pessimist who didn’t expect anything good from life.
I started having nightmares of the unfortunate incident. I developed panic attacks which made me suffocate most times. It felt like everything was draining my existence; sucking life out of me.
I didn’t let people in and if anyone asked me questions or tried to help, all I would do was cry and beg that I be left alone. This made me hate myself more because I hated feeling weak.
I resumed school almost lifeless; with dark circles around my eyes, my head constantly feeling like it would explode the next minute and what not. If anyone asked me a question, I would snap at them real bad. So people started avoiding me. I became like a flu that no one wanted to come in contact with. I always heard whispers of people calling me a sadist or saying I shouldn’t rub my misfortune on them.
I held all the ridicules and constant battles in. It felt like i was fighting demons and losing my mind. I fell deep into the dark abyss of PTSD.
A day came when my mum shouted at me and told me to take a grip on myself. She said I wasn’t the only one suffering or grieving, and that I couldn’t keep on living like a zombie.
That day, I lost it… I yelled back at her and gave her a piece of my mind before I ran to my room to lock myself up.
From my room, I could hear her shouts of apology, but I couldn’t care less. All that came to my mind was that it was better to die than to keep suffering like I was.
I walked up to the mirror hanging on my wall to gaze at my pathetic self. I reached for a razor and I made it go across my wrist. Blooood…
I didn’t realise what had happened until I started to see blood.
Seeing blood drip, drop after drop, made me numb. I couldn’t feel anything and my vision started to blur out. I could still hear my mum knocking on the door, but I didn’t move, I kept staring at the sight of blood.
My mum panicked when she didn’t hear any movement from my room. She tried opening the door and she eventually broke in.
She screamed when she saw me in that state; covered by my own blood. She lost it and so did I. The last thing I remember was me falling to the ground. I gave up and I fainted into the darkness which I was accustomed to.
When I woke up, I was in the hospital. I was told that I barely survived and my being alive was a miracle. My mum decided that when I get well, I would start going for psychotherapy. I couldn’t object to that because I knew I really needed it.
The therapist I met with helped me a lot. I told her my deepest fears and I confided in her. She made me feel a lot better about myself that I started to see the good side of life again.
After several months of therapy and healthy habits, I was able to come out of the darkness. I overcame the trauma and I was bobbly again. I couldn’t be happier because I didn’t feel suffocated like I used to.
It was then that I decided to help people like me, to bring traumatic patients out of darkness and into light. Today I’m a Psychotherapist and I specialise in cases of PTSD.
That’s my story and I hope it helps someone. Don’t give up, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
This is a fictional story
Written by Bolawole Oreoluwa, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Nigeria.