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9/11: The 73 minutes that changed my life


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Author Topic: 9/11: The 73 minutes that changed my life  (Read 1640 times)
Crystal Thielkien
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« on: September 11, 2011, 08:01:13 pm »

In the days that followed, he slept only fitfully and always with the bedroom light on.

"I was afraid of the dark. It never happened before 9/11. It was a sense of security having that light on.

"For that first week I would wake up early and call my parents first thing. I would be on the phone crying with them. There was a lot of crying that week.

"I was feeling sadness and grief and mourning like I had never felt, similar to losing a loved one. And still an incomprehension, trying to understand what had happened."

He avoided watching television or reading newspapers because he could not bear to see replays or photos of the planes striking the towers. He had his own images, pictures inside his head, sometimes appearing with a clarity that transported him back to the mayhem.

He discovered that two men who lived in his apartment building were missing and a lawyer at work who was last seen running towards the towers was also presumed dead.

Van Why had done exactly the same and survived. As a recovering alcoholic who had been sober for two years, he already had a therapist, and in the weeks following 9/11 he saw him daily.

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings were also an opportunity to share his feelings with others, but he lived alone and had no partner to provide constant support. Before long he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Holland & Knight opened makeshift offices at a hotel in Midtown but he did not feel able to go back to work until two or three weeks after the attacks. When he did, it was the first time he had ventured outside his neighbourhood.
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