Friday, 18 March 2011

HOW DID THE ROBBERY EXPERIENCE AFFECT ME?

If you have read the Part 1 - 4 of 'Armed Robbery - My Personal Experience' from my previous blog entry, then, this is a follow up. It's important to point out that the traumatic experience has had a negative effect on my psyche.

The first effect showed up during Christmas the same year (1998). Nigerians usually celebrates the festive season with Christmas 'bangers or knockouts'. Bangers make a loud pop sound. So that when you have every child on the street popping bangers at the same time, it was really loud, fun and enjoyable. But after the robbery and I'd spent the harrowing night in the forest (along the Benin/Express way)and the mobile policemen kept shooting into the forest for endless hours, I couldn't stand the formerly enjoyable banger sound.

I would grab my husband's hand and cringe and run scared each christmas afterwards. Since that incident in 1998 as well and another robbery incident in my home almost 8 yrs later, I avoid watching TV programs/films that involves shooting, gangsters, robbery etc. My husband had always loved watching action films, war films, in fact the more shooting there is, the better. Over the years however, when he puts on such films, I turn away and if he insists on watching, I leave the room. Simple as that. I never want to watch someone holding a gun over another's head, shooting and threatening to kill. Very recently, I was watching TV with my husband, as he flipped through the channels looking for a program to watch, he stumbled on his favourite shooting type movie. And for the first time, he switched channel. Our son asked him, 'Why did you change the channel dad?' My husband's reply was very touching. He said, 'Your mum can't stand the gunfire. She doesn't like it.' I was so relieved I couldn't speak.

In the past, I enjoyed reading detective novels and watching the same. But not anymore. I have now stuck gladly and strictly to romance novels, drama, comedy, reality TV. But never crime, thriller, action, war or anything involving gun shot, kidnap etc.

And the biggest of all secrets is that after our home in Lagos, Nigeria was invaded by armed robbers in 2006, our lives were no longer the same, security wise. It left my husband unable to sleep through the night for over a year and eventually, it was the sole reason we relocated to the UK. It was impossible to continue to live in a community that planned to rob, beat and almost killed us.

Now, we can sleep through the night, never have to worry about being woken up in the middle of the night by men whose faces are covered with black masks, wielding guns and machetes and threatening to kill us all because we don't have stash of cash at home to enrich their pockets. Well, as God has saved me and my family a couple of times from armed robbers, we have now found peace and security. Thank God who gives grace to stay alive.

If you've had similar experience or have any reactions, let our readers know by leaving your comments.

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