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This is a sad story with a happy ending. I have therapy to thank for helping me heal from this traumatic experience. Let me tell you what happened:
I had just joined the basketball team in high school. I was excited to attend my first training. Since the training was after school, the late bus would drop us home. (I was in a day school.) So when we were done with training, all the children who had stayed behind for after-school activities boarded the bus, and we were off.
I sat at the front of the bus with the driver. I wanted to sit alone so that I could study. I still had homework to do, despite being on the team, and it was due the next morning! I was not really paying attention to the road, but I had a rough idea of where we were. We were in a really crowded place with small houses lining the sides of the roads. It looked like a slum. The driver slowed down because of how crowded the sides of the roads were: Vendors were selling their wares, people walking home and there were children playing as well.
Suddenly, a child ran across the road! The driver stepped on the brakes and hooted at the careless child! I was slightly startled. Then what happened next will forever stay with me. Another child, a much smaller one, ran across the road. However, he wasn’t fast enough to run past the bus. I just heard a crunch sound and looked immediately at the driver.
He threw his hands up and crouched over the steering wheel. The bus came to a stand-still and was immediately surrounded by angry men and women. They opened the door of the bus and pulled the driver out. Immediately, I sprung out of my chair and took charge. I did not have time to process what had just happened. I realised everyone on the bus was in danger, and I needed to tell the other children what to do. I asked them to shut their windows, put their bags under the seats and to stop looking outside of the window (Some of them were staring at the little child’s body through the back windshield). We were all in shock. We were all stunned. Nobody really knew what to do.
Once we had shut all the windows and sat down, I asked them if we could pray and ask God for protection. I was afraid. We were all afraid. But somebody had to think clearly. We started calling our parents to inform them about what had happened. The bus conductor had run after the driver and also contacted the school. But for a good half hour, we were alone on the bus, calling our parents. I managed to calm everyone down.
I got home safely, everyone did. And I went to sleep. I slept well. The next morning, it hit me what had happened!!! I couldn’t stop hearing the crunching sound and seeing in my mind the lifeless body of the child behind the bus. I was completely undone. I felt extremely guilty for taking the life of an innocent child. I was inconsolable.
My mother took me to emergency therapy. I was so shaken and afraid. I could not stop crying. The therapist was very helpful. He helped me realise that I was not responsible for what had happened. It was not my fault. Neither was it the driver’s fault. I came to believe that accidents happen and I did the best I could in the situation. The emergency session also helped me understand that I have a very big fear of losing my father. I did not know that. This incident brought to the surface my fear. The therapist reassured me about my fear. After that session, since I had cried so much, I was very exhausted. I went home and slept for many hours.
Thankfully, therapy helped me extract the traumatic experience from my mind. It also showed me that some of the things I believed about the accident were false. Those beliefs were adding to the trauma and making it impossible for me to heal from the accident. Thankfully, I was not hurt physically and I did not develop any phobias from this traumatic experience. I also learnt that therapy works! There are therapists who know what they are doing and in this instance, therapy helped me get back to functioning properly.
The views expressed in this post are solely those of the anonymous author and do not represent those of Insight.
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