THREE GIRLS – Debriefing

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS COUNSELLING

It has taken a lot of cajoling to get the girls to agree to this, but I am happy to say that they have finally agreed as it will be cathartic for all of us.


Pelin prepares for the session.


The room is ready.


“OK girls, firstly I’d like to thank you for agreeing to do this. It takes a lot of courage to face your demons and you will benefit from it, although it will be difficult at times. I’d especially like to thank you for allowing the community to experience this with you.”


“My name is ‘Pelin’ and I will be asking you questions that may upset you. You are allowed to be upset and I will be here to support you as are your friends.”


“I am a live-in councillor trained in supporting kidnap victims and their families long term so I will be around for as long as you need me here.”


“If at any time you want a break, just say so. We have lots of coffee available so don’t worry about that…”


“…we also have an infinite quantity of tissues.”


“So, are we OK to start?”


“Alrighty, to start with, can you tell me what happened?”


“You don’t know?”


“I’ve heard about it, but we need to start somewhere. If you can tell me what you experienced it will help us exorcise those demons and give me a deeper understanding.”

Allie was hesitant, and Maria seemed detached from the session. SarahLou, feeling the question needed an answer, went on to describe the happenings.


“It felt like there were hundreds of them, but it was probably about ten. They came bungling into the house with clumping boots, talking noisily in what seemed like some sort of code.”


Allie continues: “They were pointing at things and saying things we didn’t understand. My husband was swiftly arrested and taken away without any opportunity to help us. They then pointed at me and started taking photographs. I was quickly overpowered and they then began wrapping me in plastics bags whilst the other men stood guard. I agree with Lou, it was very frightening.”

Maria, who had been silent up to now looked squarely at the camera with a tear on her cheek.


“They yanked up my top and started taking photo’s of my tits.”


“Bastards.”


“They had about as much charm as a house brick and they didn’t care one bit how she felt.”


“Maria might be the mischievous one of us, but she is, nonetheless, delicate. Her fate was that of Allie and she was promptly bound and bagged. I could only look on in fear and desperation.”


“I was very frightened, but it was turning into anger. I knew what was coming.”


“I put up a fight. I wasn’t too keen on the fate I was faced with. I don’t remember too much about it, but I remember the pain. One of my finger nails was ripped off during the struggle. The only good thing is that after 8 months, it’s had time to grow back.”


“There was blood everywhere, even though I quickly found myself similarly bound and bagged, as were my nieces just minutes before.”


“From that point on, I couldn’t see anything. All I could hear was muffled whimpering from the others.” concluded SarahLou, who’s open demeanour sharply turned morose.

At this point, Pelin, whom herself appeared distressed suggested a break.


“It’s difficult, I know. I think you are all being very strong, just by being here in the first place. It’s never easy to talk about bad things especially when you are the victim, and you are the victims here and you did nothing wrong.”

Pelin’s sympathetic tone his a chord with SarahLou.


“Allie’s husband is as much a victim of this.”


“He didn’t know what or why this was happening.”


“He still doesn’t know why we were taken, and to be frank, neither do we.”


“He’s glad to have us all back though and hope we can get on with our lives once again.”


“I think it’s brought us all closer together but only time will tell.”


Allie continues: “It’s what happened after our kidnap that was the most stressful for all of us I think.”


“It’s time…”


“…for your anti-depressants Maz.”


“Just the one, yes?”


“Yeah, just… Oh shit!”


“Bollocks!”


“No worries!”


“It’s all right, not a problem.”


“Remember, we have unlimited tissues!”


“OK, where were we… You were about to tell us what happened after the kidnap Allie?”


“Yeah, being bound and bagged is hard enough, but the mental torture of not knowing why or where we were being taken, not being able to see anything and the unintelligible boisterous conversation only added to the fear and confusion I’m sure we all felt.”


“We were each roughly carried down the stairs by two of them huffing and puffing and then put in a car or van. The engine started and after what seemed like an eternity, we were pulled from the vehicle and man handled through an endless jangling of keys and several doors where we were parked unceremoniously onto a cold hard surface.”


“The nearest door was locked shut, followed by the sound of more doors along the corridor being banged and locked to a gradual silence. Darkness fell in an instant.”


“The only thing I could hear was Maria’s muffled whimpers. It was heartbreaking to hear her and absolutely nothing else.”


“This is when the fear really kicked in for me. Things were going around in my mind, like how long are we going to be here, what’s going to happen next, what’s happening to my husband and all sorts of things.”


“I don’t know how long it was between visits, as there was no daylight, but sometimes the door was unlocked and someone came in, dropped some things and left again with a rattle of keys, and no words.”


“It was both frightening and heartbreaking each time this happened. We didn’t know if they were coming for us, and if they were, what were they going to do to us.”


“At the same time, there was a hope that I might be reunited with my husband and that all of us could be back together again. “


“We could only hope. Hope kept us going.”


“There was nothing else we could wish for other than getting back together as a family at home, where we belonged.”


“Hours turned into days and days turned into weeks. When weeks turned into months, I lost all hope.”


“We couldn’t talk to each other because of the restraints and I just wanted to die. There was nothing left to live for.”


“I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life like this and just wished it all over.”


“I thought, what’s the point…”


“Let this be over…”


“But then things started to change?”


“Eventually. After 8 months of this crap.”


“What happened after those 8 months?”


“A glimmer of hope returned.”


“One day, there was the familiar jangle of keys as the doors were once again unlocked.”


“We actually heard snippets of conversation and our names were mentioned.”


“My hopes were raised. Or was it fear, I’m not sure. Another rattle and the door was locked again. Everything fell dark and silent once more.”


“A few more days passed… Hope, again, turning to anguish and despair.”


“Then… jangle, click, thud and a ping as the florescents burst into life… We were moving!”


“What happened?”


“I thought, ‘Oh great’, or was it ‘Oh shit’. At least is WAS a feeling, after being numb for so long. We were being transported somewhere.”


“It’s a blur, but I remember a voice, a familiar voice I had not heard for months which was now long overdue. Now here we are, back at home after a hellish 8 months of mental torture and imprisonment.”


“Yeah, and I think everyone is happy that you are home again.”


“We’ll call it a day, I think we’ve done enough for now.”


“But remember, I’m here to stay and if you ever want to talk about this again, then do so. Don’t bottle up your feelings or the cork will pop.”


“Now, lets close with a group hug.”


“Move forward…”


“…and enjoy life.”

THE END BEGINNING