Can't stop thinking about tragic event.

Hitby

Well-known Member
Not sure if this is the right place but it's as good as any. Had a hell of a day today. A young girl decided to take her life this afternoon and jumped out of a window in the building next to mine. Myself and a colleague rushed out and took her pulse and covered her in blankets to try and keep her warm while we waited for the ambulance. An EMT turned up within a few minutes and took her blood pressure. We helped to turn her over and unfortunately we had to watch her die. There was nothing else we could have done but I feel awful. Can't get it out of my head now. Just really upsetting that she felt she had no one to turn to.

I don't know how to get it out of my head or stop thinking about it. Dreading going to bed.

It's worth saying that if anyone is feeling low please go and talk to someone because this is a pretty ****** way to go :(
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Hitby, you have my sympathies. This is too traumatic to consider for both you as a witness and the poor girl, I hope she is at peace now.
 

Ed Selley

AVF Reviewer
You won't be able to suppress thinking about it initially. Many years ago standing on Mile End tube platform, a man a few metres away from me jumped in front of a Central Line train. The sight of him leaping off kept coming back into mind for at least a month and a bit more. You analyse it and dwell on the ifs and maybes but there is ultimately little you could do differently.

Take solace in friends and family. As you say, make sure you are available for those you care about and make the best of it.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Sorry to hear this. I had a similar event a few years ago - I was walking back into the office building one summer afternoon, when someone above me jumped off the 16th floor (inside) and landed about 10 metres away. I didn't see the falling, just the impact. Went into a complete daze - took me about 24 hours to get back to 'normal' - I kept hearing the sound - seeing the faces of the other witnesses - the sight of the body. At the time I didn't even know if it was intentional or not. I went back to my desk, then left with a few guys and we spent the afternoon sitting outside a pub next to the water. They initally suggested I go home but I knew that was a bad idea on my own, so we got SWMBO to come out and 'collect' me.

Anyway, it was shocking in a lot of ways - the surprise - the feeling of sadness for the guy - my first encouter with death of any kind. I remember the next morning in the wee hours, someone outside was loading something onto a truck and they dropped a box - it hit the ground and I was taken right back to it. By that afternoon though, it had passed to become a memory rather than something I was reliving. It's still ten seconds of my life I will never forget.

I'm going on a bit, but just wanted to say, it's a shocking thing but it will pass. You should take comfort that you were there to do as much as you could in her final moments - all that could be done.

My other advice is don't 'do' anything now that could become 'tainted' with the memory - if you are tempted to have a Woodford Reserve for instance, there is the risk you will associate that with this. Maybe a good time to go to a bar you've never been to and have a Whiskey you will never have again (okay, a bit late now).

All the best.

imbw
 

Hitby

Well-known Member
Thanks,
Thought I was alright to be honest and had to go and watch A Christmas Carol after work with the family. Just hit me in the car on the way home though and had a bit of an event. Alas, too late to avoid the whiskey, a stiff drink seemed like the only way to go
 

BB3Lions

Distinguished Member
It's not nice its traumatic & the memory of it will last forever.. it never goes away.

What if I, what if she, if only I had, etc etc..

Have a drink & pay your respects & grieve.

BB
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Hit by, you weren't by any chance working in Blackburn today where you?
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
Hitby,
first of all it may sound trite but letting it out is good for you and if AVF can be part of that then good.
It is going to take time and I agree with Ed's advice, you aren't alone.
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
Perfectly normal. Your brain will get bored of reliving it and eventually you will become desensitised to that particular memory. Amazing faculty people have for integrating traumatic events.

Just be aware that what you are experiencing is normal , that it will stop "interfering' in your normal thoughts eventually and that for a little tie you will be a bit off kilter , so don't necessarilly rely on your own judgement in crucial decisions for a couple of weeks.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I don't know if this is relevant or not, but I was hit by a car whilst cycling a few years' ago - I went over the handlebars, hit the bonnet with my face and somehow landed on my back, it all seemed to happen so fast.

Two things saved me from serious physical injury - the helmet on my head (which had a huge crack in it and got subsequently chucked away) and my rucksack on my back.

I was very shaky afterwards and didn't go back to work later on that night, but I love cycling and use it as my main form of transport, so I was always going to get back in the saddle once my bike had been rebuilt (I lost the front end completely). But I've never really forgotten it completely, I am much more cautious and nervous around vehicles and trust no one.

It could be argued that we are desensitised from real life trauma and unprepared emotionally for when it happens, experiencing it secondhand through media forms is not the same as when it happens in reality.

You are still in a state of shock, but it will pass and you will adapt. You just need time to process what you've experienced and then you can get on with your life again.

Good luck and keep posting here if it helps.

Derek
 
Last edited:

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
I

It could be argued that we are desensitised from real life trauma and unprepared emotionally for when it happens, experiencing it secondhand through media forms is not the same as when it happens in reality.



Derek

I'd say that there is no such thing as experiencing trauma second hand. You get desensitised to things by experiencing them. You can very readily cope with situations that other people find horrific just by experience, like I said its amazing how quickly you move from finding an event life altering to similar events becoming mundane . Its a survival trait of most human beings.

The flip side is that the same effect can also dehumanize you.

Reliving the event is not a healthy thing in my experience. I went to post traumatic stress counselling once and had to relive it at each counselling session and all it did was reopen the wounds. Current train of thought is that this is unhelpful for lots of people as it interferes with your mind's ability to integrate and reconcile objectionable memories.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I take your point about desensitisation/dehumanisation, but I suppose I was thinking about media coverage of, say, poverty or wars or murders - we can be affected on some level emotionally but not to the same extent as directly experiencing it ourselves.

As an aside, do you think that PTSD counselling is not a universal panacea based on your own experience? Do you think that it should be undertaken on a case-by-case basis?

For me, talking therapies have always helped but I accept that that won't be the case for everyone, we all have our own individual processing strategies.

Derek
 

Mr.D

Distinguished Member
I take your point about desensitisation/dehumanisation, but I suppose I was thinking about media coverage of, say, poverty or wars or murders - we can be affected on some level emotionally but not to the same extent as directly experiencing it ourselves.

As an aside, do you think that PTSD counselling is not a universal panacea based on your own experience? Do you think that it should be undertaken on a case-by-case basis?

For me, talking therapies have always helped but I accept that that won't be the case for everyone, we all have our own individual processing strategies.

Derek

Everyone is different but there is current thinking that merely talking it over with someone and replaying the events back in your head is not very conducive to reconciling the event for most people. Especially if it was a very traumatic event outside the experience of most people ( including the counsellor...personally felt mine didn't appreciate or comprehend what I had experienced).

I personally found a massive improvement when I stopped going ( also getting off the anti-depressants...prozac type stuff , I was prescribed as a result of the trauma). This allowed me to heal over time whereas I felt the sessions just unecessarily opened up the wounds again for no good reason.
 

hopeless

Well-known Member
I hope you're feeling slightly better this morning.

Try and go out and get some fresh air. Go for long walks over the weekend. If you can drag a friend or family member with you the better. Maybe sit down in a church and say a prayer. It might clear your mind a little.

Sitting indoors thinking about things might not be a great idea at the moment.

All the best.
 

swiftpete

Distinguished Member
I saw 3 people die a few years ago. They were in a car overtaking me, as they pulled alongside the driver lost control and hit a tree. We stopped and went over to see if they were ok but unfortunately all 3 were dead. It did stick in my mind for a bit, but I got over it and you will too.
It does make me think though, if you're going to do it, at least jump off beachy head so no one will have to go through the trauma that you had to go through. Well the emergency services will have to pick you up, but they're used to it.
 

Dave

Distinguished Member
BB3Lions said:
Used to it? They never get used to it, it scars them for life.

BB

Sadly very true, every time I have ever dealt with a traumatic incident I've left a little piece of me there. I deal with it but I could never get used to it. I hate sudden deaths because they are one of the few incidents I attend that do affect me.

Hitby, deal with it however feels right bit don't clam up. It will get better over time.
 

leo79

Well-known Member
Hope you're feeling a bit better today Hitby.

I had a similar experience about 14 years ago.

At a shop I was working in, an hysterical women came bursting through the door with 2 young kids and a baby in her arms. The baby was blue when they all woke up that morning , she didn't have a landline because it had been cut off so she ran to the nearest phone box to phone for an ambulance but she didn't have any coins with her so she thought that she couldn't make a phone call (this is the bit that stuck with me for a long time). She then ran down the road to our shop.

Any way long story short baby was dead, horrible experience, emergency services were brilliant.

I went over and over it for some time, but I also spoke to people about it and over time it got easier to cope with.

A good cry and talking always helps.

Leo
 

Hitby

Well-known Member
Thanks for all the kind comments guys.
I've just woken up from a whiskey induced stupor and I feel a bit better this morning! :/

I've got a pile of work to be getting on with tonight and a birthday party to go to tonight so a busy day which is probably best.

Rousetafarian, no, it was in Newcastle. The blue building in the background is the one I work in and the one in the foreground is where it happened - news link.
 

Simba

Distinguished Member
What an awful thing to go through.

Hope you feel better soon.
 

jamiesdad

Active Member
Used to it? They never get used to it, it scars them for life.

BB

Your right, you never get used to it but it doesn't scar you for life.

Hitby dealing with any traumatic death or its aftermath is never easy don't bottle things up talk to your partner or perhaps the colleague that was with you. All the best
 

Houghsx

Distinguished Member
Having never witnessed anything like this I can only imagine how this would play on your mind. Just don't bottle things up, if you feel like crying, do so. Crying is a human emotion and its there for a reason. Talk to your partner and don't forget there are professionals out there if need be.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Your right, you never get used to it but it doesn't scar you for life.

Agreed - it messed me up for a day or so when it happened to me, but there has been no long-term damage (I'm pleased to say). Sometimes at work, if I go to the same place and the conditions are exactly as they were, the memory comes back - but I walk past the spot every day and never think about it (no doubt I will on Monday now).
 

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