Chapter One: The Birth of my PTSD

It was a usual hungry sunny Saturday evening on the 26th April 2008.


We were going to have a small steamboat gathering at our usual place. Before that, I was handling a case in Punggol.


Nothing unusual then, I drove from Punggol to the TPE highway – entered into a slip road leading to the expressway and slowed down when approaching the Give Way Junction and finally stopped at the junction as there wee oncoming traffic on my right.


Then a loud bang followed by another loud bang.


I was then blurred. Went out of my car and approach the bus behind me that banged onto me. While approaching, a sharp pain aroused in my back and I collapsed.


Physically aspect of this injury I had written before and at this article, I am focusing on my other injury that is invisible – mental.


I felt I was banged twice. Logically speaking, the 2 bangs would be few seconds interval.


However, my feeling, sensation and awareness between these two bangs were not these few seconds interval apart. After the first bang, I think my head had hit onto my steering wheel and I lost conscious.


It was as if I had a long long long night rest of few hours before I felt the second hit.


The second hit was a wake up call for me. I waken from my unconsciousness and the first thing I saw was a total scary white bright clear image in front of me. Beside white, I couldn’t see anything else. And then, this white image became smaller and disappeared and I saw reality in front of me.


Not knowing what had happened and it was as if I just gotten up from a night’s sleep, my conscious mind went into an automated mode. What I can recall is my mind told me that I am now driving and please look out for traffic on my right. I checked and it was clear to move on. Then my mind told me “Move”. I literally stepped onto the accelator and started to move on.


My then secretary who was my passenger then shouted at me to stop and told me that I was being banged.


My mind just took over me and I was in an automated mode where I just follow what my mind ordered me to do.


I checked the rear mirror and saw the bus. I checked myself and remembering touching myself from head to body to legs – Well, I did not know why I did that. I got out from my vehicle and was walking towards the bus.


Here comes the scary moment in my life.


While I was walking towards the bus, I remembered my conscious self was in fact in the bus looking at myself (from my car) walking towards myself (in the bus). In other words, my feeling was as if I was in the bus and looking at my body (it was like a third party) walking towards the bus where my conscious is.


Then the sharp pain came from my back and it seemed to be piercing from my backbone all the way up to my throat. At this instance, my conscious (i.e. myself) was back to my body walking towards the bus and saw the bus in front of me and I collapsed onto the ground groaning in pain.


I was then conveyed to the hospital by an ambulance.


My understanding on the above phenomenon(s) from the medical team


This is based on my understanding then when I said these “blank out for few hours between the bangs” and my “out of body” experience to the psychologist and psychiatrist.


My understanding may be wrong as the medical explanations might not mean what I had understood – In other words, they may be my own interpretation.


These 2 phenomenon(s) which I had experienced were a kind of self defence mechanism to protect my mind and body from experiencing a strong trauma and to somehow numb myself from the extreme pain.


The first phenomenon of the blank out was to blocked off my conscious to feel the extreme pain so the body will just shut the mind off (i.e. to be unconscious) so that the body can slowly adjust and adapt to the extreme.


Unfortunately, I was waken by the second bang and as such the second phenomenon took place – the out of body or disassociation occurs to let my conscious mind to be away from the extreme pain and slowly let it adjust to the pain.


However, it doesn’t matter what the explanations are, were or will. These 2 feelings were and are very real and these feelings continue to haunt me till now letting me enjoying the taste of Post Trauma Stress Disorder.


**********End of Chapter**********

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