Trauma Workshops – A Story of Healing

Sharing of stories aids healing

Sharing of stories aids healing

Comfort Michael:

One of the things I found interesting about this training is the healing from grief; before the training I thought that life was meaningless to me looking at my children and the challenge of having to bring them up. I think the training was specifically organized for me.

 

Comfort was one of the participants that attended the trauma healing workshops in Mubi. As at the time we met her, she was still basking in the feeling of guilt and remorse of the experience of the attack on Mubi town. She is from Michika LGA but was married to a Margi man from Askira-uba LGA of Borno state and the union is blessed with five children namely; Adamu, 15, Ibrahim 14, Ishaku 12, Anna 7 and Chiroma the youngest was 3 and half years old. Comfort proceeded to narrate her experience in the hand of the dreaded group Boko-Haram; I am a 38 year old house wife, and my husband before the incident was lecturing with the Federal Polytechnic Mubi. On that fateful day being 29th October, 2014, we received a distressed call from my younger brother who resides in Hilde, a town about five kilometers away from Mubi that the group was nearing to engulf Mubi a night before. On hearing that, I now intimated my husband about a likely impending attack on Mubi, and sought her husband consent on the necessity of relocating to Yola since we have witnessed a mass exodus of people to safer haven. I tried to persuade my husband to leave, but he was reluctant, and rebuked me of spreading rumor.

Until when it became clear to us that Mararaba was under siege that night and people in Mubi were already scrambling to other zones for safety. After, several attempts to assuage him to start moving, he finally agreed to my proposition but that last conformity could be seeing to be too little and too late.

We finally set out of Mubi; My husband, one of his younger brothers with us, my five children, my younger sister and a student of the Federal Polytechnic Mubi who we opted to help. Incidentally, after a two kilometers drive within Mubi we failed into the hands of this group of improbable youth on motor-bikes, which at first did not appear to us as members of the Boko-Haram, with guns and machetes and were looking infuriated. As they approach us, they stopped the cars we were driving in and inquired to know about our identity. My husband responded to them that he is a lecturer with the Federal Polytechnic Mubi and with him were members of his family.

They practically ordered the men out and tied their hands to their back and laid them just a few meters away from where we parked. I remember the only thing I overheard them discussion with my husband was that you are running away to leave us with who to have supremacy over; they told him it is their type they are looking for.

Trauma is like walking with a stone in your shoe

Trauma is like walking with a stone in your shoe

This conversation was short lived, when all of a sudden I heard some gun shots targeted directly on them and looking out I saw my husband, his younger brother and the student shot dead. Seeing that, I became apprehensive and wanted to come out of the car, but my sister would not allow me, she kept cautioning me to remain in the car for fear of turning their guns on my children, but I cried profusely. I and the children were taken captives in a building with others numbering about three hundred women and children and were tightly guided by some armed girls.

In that building we do the cooking from what they supply us possibly from part of the looting. They also had severally tried to compel us to Islam, but we remained adamant, even though there were people among us who were willing to mortgage their faith, to be converted to Islam. At some point, the  girls guiding us kept urging us to read our Bible perhaps God would make them have a change of heart to free us; they were encouraging us not to disobey certain house rules, and forewarned that anybody who does that will be met with strict penalty. They confessed that they were tied of killing and that their hands were stained with blood.

It was on that account that one of the hostages held alongside with us a student with the Federal Polytechnic Mubi, sent a text message to a relation of hers, an officer with the Nigeria Air force, indicating the premise and in detail the nature of the attack, after being held for about a week in that building. The building was struck by the Nigeria Air force fighter jet targeted on the insurgents gathered outside and some of the few people with them killing seventeen of them. But fortunately for us, we found an opening through a glass narrow window where we escaped with my children and treked for a whole day a distance of about seventeen kilometers to Malanda en route to Gashala.

Unity circle - we are all in this together

Unity circle – we are all in this together

One of the things I found interesting about this training is the healing from grief; before the training I thought that life was meaningless to me looking at my children and the challenge of having to bring them up. I think the training was specifically organized for me.

2 thoughts on “Trauma Workshops – A Story of Healing

  1. Thank you for this update on the situation in Nigeria. We have been wondering what’s happening, as every time we get information, the stories get worse and worse. Brothers and sisters, our hearts and prayers are with you as you go through this terrible trial. May the Peace that passes all understanding be with you in the days that follow.
    Love, blessings, and our hearfelt prayers,
    Dr. Jeanne Smith, McPherson, Kansas, USA

  2. We thank you Lord for your miracles. Let continue praying for the Chibok schoolgirls and many more in Boko Haram hands. Pray for my state Borno as many villages are under their control after Christians and some few Muslims run out for their lives.

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