When I was 17 years old, I got handicapped from a horse riding accident. Could not run and seating was painful. I was back in Corsica and we went to see a concert in the moutains to see a “famous” corsican Band.
At the end of the concert, everyone was walking back the dirt road to leave the improvised concert hall, when suddenly the band Bus’ brakes broke at the top of the road and started rolling through the crowd.
We were all walking facing the road when suddenly I saw the face of the woman in front of me get deformed in horror as she was looking at something behind me. We turned and saw the bus rolling towards the people disappearing as it was passing by them and people were screaming of fear, of pain.
My dad grabbed me trying to think where he was going to throw me and as the bus was about to hit us, it changes direction thanks something on its way and instead of hitting us, it crushes three people on the mountain 1 meter from me.
That day, my whole family was at this concert, my whole village was there. When the bus finally stopped on the mountain the silence was loud. It took me one day to go around my village to be sure that everyone I know was ok.
It took me 15 years to stop shaking in crowds, to stop crying when hearing screams in the crowd I was in. 12 years after the event, I went to see a gig with my colleagues to amuse their kids, and when the first performer arrived on stage all the kids screamed of excitement and I started shaking and crying uncontrollably to the point that I was taken outside by my friend.
Nowadays, when we are in public, I am a nightmare to be with, I am always checking my surroundings, I am always keeping aware of everything around me to the point that I know that if I don’t want to be a pain and a boring person to be with, I try to face the wall in restaurants so I can try to focus on the person I am with. I can’t walk behind a bus, I am so nervous in crowds that I simply avoid them as much as I can.
Yesterday, when I shared this story with my great group of Mamas, I was asked if at the time I went to see a therapist. My answer was that there is a sense of guilt to be alive with no injuries. “You are alive, you are less important, it is not you who died or got injured, so don’t make it about you or don’t make yourself more important by going to a therapist” That’s what happened. So in the end, you carry on with this burden instead of letting it go.
84 people died in horror on the 14th of July 2016 in Nice & I am so sad to know that on top of it, that night has created scares in the head of so many survivors that will never be able to go to a concert without shaking, to a fair without looking over their shoulder, squeezing the hands of the person with them, going to a party without knowing that smiles turn into deformed horror in a second.