You were the closest to me, so I know you suffered too.
…I was really lost and just crying out for help. I honestly was freaking out. Both my parents were sick, mom with pneumonia and dad was scheduled for a heart operation. I was still un-diagnosed for PTSD. I was having panic attacks and you were the one person who knew the truth and who I really trusted. However, it was wrong to lose it and you had every right to go to the police. I just wish you had warned the police about the severity of the trauma I actually dealt with, and the potential for serious PTSD.
Please think about how unstable my life has been since what happened in Sri Lanka. It’s been four years and I still haven’t had anywhere stable to live. I still live out of bags. My benefits were cut because I was misdiagnosed for so long. My self-esteem is pretty much non-existence, it’s really hard to maintain any sort of friendship after everything that’s happened.
All the friends of mine you met and I grew up with are no longer in my life. It’s been really difficult. Along with severe PTSD, I was diagnosed with major depression and social phobia. For the past couple of years I struggled with agoraphobia. It’s really hard not to be able to go out normally—-to miss weddings, birthday parties, etc. Things have really broken down.
The treatment helped deal with the tsunami but it didn’t change what really happened. You can’t imagine how bad things got. It completely destroyed me. I wish you hadn’t broken up with me in such a psychologically traumatizing way – on the tsunami’s anniversary while in Sri Lanka.
When I started writing the narrative, it doesn’t begin to describe what I went through.
The trauma I experienced was a result of being caught in 2004 Asian Tsunami. I was on holiday on Koh Phi Phi island on the west coast of Thailand when the waves hit. From the moment the wave hit till the following morning we were cut off from the outside world. Through out this time I was involved in the rescue and care of some the most seriously injured on the island. During the ordeal there were occasions where I believed my life or the lives of others were in imminent danger. We were involved with recovering the dead and triaging the seriously injured. The severity of the injured were on par with serious combat wounds.
You could have warned doctors or family or friends what really happened in Sri Lanka, especially on New Year’s Eve when I panicked and took you to hospital. How that holiday could have triggered or re-triggered severe PTSD.
There’s a lot of wishes, but I wish you had warned the police about the severity of the search and rescue trauma I dealt with. I don’t think you have any idea the severity of the medical negligence, or what it’s like to live with the symptoms of PTSD. I wish you could have at least checked whether I was receiving any sort of support for intense trauma before trying so hard to send me to jail. I could have been in and out of the police station within a couple of hours if you’d warned the police about the severity of the medical condition I was suffering from. My texts and emails to you were cries for help.
Instead I was remanded in custody for 14 hours without any appropriate medical care. This led to the point where I was too traumatized and emotional to calmly answer questions during the interview which took place almost 10 hours after I was arrested.
You could still have your restraining order and prevent me from ever teaching again, but the police would have known about the PTSD. I admitted everything the moment the police officer knocked on my door. I wish you had warned my family or friends so they could have supported and fought for the right treatment. Your statements said I was just obsessed with getting you back. There was no mention of being someone really suffering from intense PTSD and who was struggling with his family and certainly not receiving the right help from the NHS.
You are the only person I’ve told the truth about the tsunami and my parents divorce, and the only person I’ve ever taken to Sri Lanka. I haven’t worked in 4 years and I may never be able to teach again which is brutal…
Once the trial was over I was finally able to start treatment for the trauma. It’s hard because my treatment came years too late under the worst circumstances. I’d already lost everything.
The treatment helped me deal with the main issues, namely the French couple, the abortion, finding the dead pregnant girl, the tsunami, and what happened when we went to Sri Lanka. Especially what happened in Galle when I freaked out and took you to the hospital on New Year’s Eve.
I had to have specific trauma treatment for what happened at the Fulham Police station especially after the way your lawyers described my character in court. I was so broken by the time my treatment started. The prison sentence hanging over my head for almost a year was terrifying in terms of my PTSD.
During my treatment I was supported to write a trauma narrative. You and Jennifer are the only people I’ve ever really opened up to. Even though Jennifer and I had over 30 hours of treatment sessions, I still feel like you know a lot more about the truth of what happened with my family and the tsunami than she does.
One of the main aspects of my treatment was dealing with my survivor’s guilt. In the end, my treatment almost became like a university philosophy module. While writing my trauma narrative (which helped with reprocessing the memories and my survivor’s guilt,) I studied up on my core beliefs and where they lie. There was a lot of reading on religion and the history of how different religions developed, and then how they fragmented. Dealing with the trauma and reinforcing my core beliefs really helped with coping with the flashbacks and the abortion.
Internally a lot has changed. My life is better in terms of how I deal with the tsunami and the daily flashback, dreams etc.. The hard bit I’m really struggling with is the aftermath. What happened with family, friends, and loved ones. It kills me that I’ll probably never be able to teach again. I really miss working with children.
Please listen to the BBC documentary that I participated in. I hope this will finally give you peace of mind so that you don’t have to “live in fear for the rest of your life”. I loved you with all my heart. Despite what you may think, I could never hurt you like how your lawyers insinuated in court.
I always admitted my guilt in terms of making the calls and text, but I denied I ever intended to hurt you or harass you. I just wanted to defend my character from how you and Anna tried to portray me in your statements. If you had ever tried to understand how PTSD symptoms affect trauma victims you would have fought to help me get PTSD treatment not jail.
Since the tsunami you were the only person who ever truly believed in me and as a result I trusted you with everything. You were the only person I’ve ever really opened up to.
I hope the documentary will finally help you realise that I was really telling you the truth ,although I did it in a really messed up way, and I crucially needed help to get PTSD treatment. It’s really not some trivial thing that you could just open up about to family and friends. I don’t even think you know how I eventually got diagnosed?
If Dr. Jennifer Wild didn’t intervene at court I would have ended up in jail without ever receiving treatment for trauma. Nobody tried to intervene, the legal aid system doesn’t properly support the mentally vulnerable. I wasn’t stable enough to properly defend myself. If you read the NHS PTSD report, they were not willing to intervene in the court process even though the NHS admitted extreme negligence.
It’s so hard to take because if it was the other way around, I would have fought everyone to help you…
You were my best mate. You didn’t deserve the pain I caused you, you deserved the stars. I know it’ll never be enough but I’ll always be sorry.Originally posted on PTSDJEDIPhoto: janbommes/Flickr