#Trauma -'She's alive!' By Dr. Pradnya Ajinkya
1] It is three years since my husband and three children went missing and it has not been easy. I find myself frequently at the hospital emergency. The hospital worsens my situation. The doctors tell me to get over it and that is just what I can't do, Ma'am.
2] I heard a huge sound like the sky crashing into the earth. I could not believe my eyes, as I saw something like a huge fireball rolling down the mountain.
3] When the disaster happened, people scrambled to save their lives.
4] I saw my husband and son rushing home on the bike, but the area was covered with thick, heavy mud. That was the last time I saw them. I was screaming and screaming and screaming for help.
5] A few neighbours along with me were forcefully shifted out to a temporary camp.
6] My daughter Ma'am, was left behind. There are no claims that she was killed in the incident. I've been praying daily for some clue to what happened to my ten-year-old daughter who was out playing with her friends.
7] I want to see her Ma'am. Please let me go and find out where she is. I cannot express the panic that is in my heart. I feel heartfelt sorrow. I am sure she would be found. I can't stop my tears from falling.
8] My family is expecting me to get on with my life since they have made good effort to find out about Monika. They feel it has been three years after returning home.
9] It is getting a bit uncomfortable living with them. They do not give me my private space to think about my child's fate.
10] I have been receiving counselling from officers of the Welfare Department to cope with the trauma following the incident. Please listen to me, Ma'am. I harbour hope. I am sure, I am traumatized by the tragedy and need psychological care. Please help me ....... please ....... to solve this mystery .......
Th: I am listening and please be reassured that your problems and fears are being heard.
C: Thank you Ma'am.
Th: You remember where you were during the critical incident.
C: Yes. I was at home. When I opened the door, on hearing a huge sound, I was shocked to see a huge ball of fire falling down ......
Th: What did you think at that moment?
C: I could see my husband and son being washed away. I was totally numbed. I was screaming for help. I was calling out to Monika. I felt Monika and I would be all alone.
Th: What could be worse than this?
C: I was forced to leave the place before I found my daughter.
Th: What happened to the children who were playing with Monika?
C: Rashi and Jalpa are both dead. But there is no claim about Monika.
Th: There could be a couple of people who went missing?
C: Yes. Quite some numbers. More than 500 people. Monika may be one among them. Yet, I can't forget her Ma'am. I suffer flashbacks and delusions.
Th: Take some additional help to understand how to deal with the flashbacks and delusions. The initial counselling interventions helped you not to rebound. However, with required extended psychological care you will surely feel better and this may even alter this consistent dynamic. The mind should be given sufficient time to heal itself.
Th: Taking into consideration the intensity and duration of the trauma, why don't we have a doctor come and check your stress levels regularly? They will screen you for your psychological health and train you for high-stress combat. This can avoid the panic and regular emergency landing in hospitals.
Th: We will meet often at short intervals and restructure reactions to the memories of the trauma.
Th: On a 0 to 10 scale how do you feel now?
C: 4. Restructuring the memories can improve the scaling?
Th: Yes. My dear Elizabeth!