Messages of joy pour in from across the world

2012-06-22 00:00

COUNSELLING psychologist Kelly Quayle said it was hard to imagine how people kidnapped over a lengthy period and then released could begin to cope with their traumatic experience and adjust to their ordinary lives.

She said the trauma of the ordeal the couple experienced would not only have physical after-effects, but major psychological ones too. “At the time the victims might have operated in a kind of ‘survival mode’ whereby the nervous system goes into a state of semi-shutdown in response to extreme threat,” Quayle said.

This is a leftover state from animal instinct in which animals pretend they are dead so the perpetrator will lose interest. “When physical and psychological pain becomes too much to tolerate, the mind distances itself from the experience by numbing the body and the psyche, which is called dissociation.

“The survivors might have sometimes lost a sense of reality as a way of detaching themselves from the horror of their situation. The chances of survivors of such an ordeal experiencing the anxiety disorder of post-traumatic stress disorder is very high. The reality is that life for these trauma survivors will never be the same ….”

THE Facebook page “SOS Bruno and Debbie”, which was created to help raise money for the ransom, was inundated yesterday with heartwarming messages of relief and genuine happiness for the couple.

“WOW I am OVER THE MOON!!!!!!! Cant concentrate I just want to jump up and down. So happy for the family, the Lord is truely amazing!!!!!” said Facebook user Tahra Holloway.

Various companies also offered freebies and weekends away for the couple on their return, while other users were keen to continue helping the couple in any way they could. Strangers offered to throw welcome parties on their return.

Said Mimi Visser: “I literally just got goosebumps all over. I am so happy to hear that they’re coming home! And if I’m this happy, I can’t even imagine the sheer joy and relief for the family and close friends. I’m sure the adjustment at being home will be tough, so please let all of us know if there is anything more we can do to help as though the biggest battle has been won, I’m sure the struggle is not quite over just yet.”

Messages of joy, concern, support and relief were repeated throughout the day as the news spread across the world.

‘Life of trauma survivors will never be the same’

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