Memoir

A Lost Voice Due to Trauma

Talking for us today is a basic means of communication with others and it is also a key factor which keeps us connected with the world around us. Humans are social beings, they have a need to feel connected with others in order to feel the need of belonging.

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Trauma can lead the feeling of loneliness even if you are surrounded by many people

Now imagine.. one day you saw something so horrifying that it gets stuck in your brain. And it makes you loose your voice?

Here is why I believe it!!

Crazy… isn’t it?

It is the TRUTH!!

When I was training to be a hospice visiting volunteer, I saw a girl. She was around 6-7 years old. I just got a glimpse of her as she was standing all by herself in the hall when I came out to talk to my mother on the phone to inform her when will I reach home.

When I looked at her, I smiled and tried to have a conversation and I said, “Hey, how are you doing?” She got scared, and took a few steps away from me. At that time, I wasn’t aware that she could not speak. This made me curious, as I know that I am not that scary. Usually, children are not scared from me. Jokes, apart, let’s continue the story..

I felt that she needed to be alone as she was scared. But all of a sudden, she started breathing heavily and was sweating.. I got concerned and hoped she was alright. Immediately, I asked for help.

I got to know that the little girl came with our guest speaker of the day, she came with a psychologist, the social work department handed her the responsibility of the little girl. I began to wonder what just happened? Where is her family? The psychologist came running out and told me to calm down. She told me what had happened to her..

STORY OF A LITTLE ANGEL!!

Little Nora lived with her grandparents when her parents decided to go to Canada. She had no idea what was coming her way. When she was trying to sleep, she heard loud noises coming from the other room. When Nora gathered enough courage to come out of her room and find out what was going on, she was a very terrifying sight!!

She saw her mother getting raped by her father. Her father was violent and abusive. He was hitting her mother with a stick! Moreover, he was abusing Nora’s mother in their mother tongue.

Nora was so scared.. she tried to hide and go back to her room as she could not see that horrifying sight. It was very scary!! But at the same time, she wanted to help her mother. She understood that this was the reason why her mother did not let her live with them back home in Saudi Arabia.

Next morning, her father did get an idea that she might have seen something last night as she acted scared. Nora quickly ran outside her house and went to her friend’s place. Her friend’s mother suspected something was going on, she then decided to report it to the Social Work Services. When they investigated, they found out that Nora’s mother was seriously injured and was in no condition to look after her. Nora’s father on the other hand was arrested for being abusive and violent.

BACK TO WHERE WE WERE!!

After hearing Nora’s story and seeing how anxious she was, it made me realize one thing, trauma can come in any form in our lives, it depends on how we take it!

No one could have ever imagined what happened with her, because she seemed to be ‘normal’ when we looked at her, it was when someone tried to talk to her could notice the sudden changes in her behaviour. She was so scared to talk to people around her. As the days passed, she used to come by at our training centre. We all noticed something..

She was slowly getting comfortable being around different people, but when it came to talking to others, even if she tried talking, she wasn’t able to. I wondered why, she wasn’t scared of anyone, then what was really going on? Why was she not able to talk? This made me very curious, I started talking to one of my instructors who was a psychotherapist.

Got Some Answers!!

By knowing more about Nora and her fears, I got to know that she was suffering from a traumatic experience. She saw her mother getting raped, that sight is stuck in her unconscious mind. Even if she is not scared to be around and talk to people, she will still not able to to function like she used to because her ‘unconscious’ state of mind is not ready to move on from this trauma.

Nora has now lost her voice. Even if she knew how to talk before, she is not able to hear her voice!! She is able to move her lips because she knows how to frame words and phrases, but her voice is not present anymore.

Now, she has to go through numerous speech therapy sessions and numerous therapeutic techniques in hopes that she will get her voice back. She definitely has a long and a difficult journey ahead. The most I could do for her is, hope for the best.

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Talking to someone about your feelings helps but not everyone is in a condition to talk after a huge traumatic event, just like Nora

What I Feel About Nora?

Nora is just one of many people out there who has experienced what trauma really is. She has experienced life in a way that no one can. What I learn from Nora is that I should not be upset about my problems, because there are more serious problems that people experience that may change their lives forever. Compared to them, my problems are NOTHING!!

What do you all think? What do you learn after knowing Nora’s story? Please do let me know!!