Sunday, July 10, 2005

Pounding with anger and adrenalin, then feeling falling-over-tired

SATURDAY 9 JULY 2005 1031 BST
Yesterday was a weird day.
I felt sick all day, which I think was the smoke inhalation and the news overload.
Friends called and texted and several beautiful bunches of flowers arrived. I love flowers.
I felt overwhelmed by support and love.
Also felt hugely freaked out as I felt I could so nearly have died.
Couldn't stop watching news.
The rolling BBC and ITV news started saying the bomb at King's Cross was on the first carriage by the double doors going towards Russell Square - near where I had been standing.
When the blast went off I fell to the left into a heap of people, by the left-hand set of doors.
It was too dark to see what was smashed.
We escaped through the driver's cab and walked to Russell Square but the news said most people escaped out the back and walked to King's Cross.
When I started hearing the bomb was in my carriage, I flipped. I started pacing about.
I phoned the BBC to ask them where they got this information from, then I phoned the anti-terrorist hotline and gave a more detailed witness statement.
I was alternately pounding with anger and adrenalin, and having mini-flashbacks, then feeling falling-over-tired.
I drank several whiskies.
My sister came to visit, and I was so glad to see her, and we ate some pizza with my boyfriend - suddenly I was starving after eating barely anything for 24 hours.
I just had endless cups of tea.
I watched a programme about orphaned baby elephants on the BBC and briefly felt normal delight.
I tried to sleep and kept jumping up remembering the bang and smelling the smoke and hearing the screams.
I took a herbal remedy and calmed down and went to sleep about 11pm still feeling nauseous and utterly drained.
Today I feel much better. Not sick any more.
The best way to defeat the terrorists is to go to work on the Tube, to dress and work how I want as a woman, to enjoy the rich social life that London offers, to have no fear of other cultures or creeds.
We should only to be wary of the hate-filled, the nihilistic, the furiously angry who won't listen or engage.
I'm now drinking yet more tea and about to put my lovely flowers in vases.
My fingernails are still black, so I'm going to cut them off. My chest still feels full of soot and I'm still coughing a bit. My stitches are healing nicely.
Things feel a bit more normal but I think I am going to see about getting a massage or some trauma counselling.
I've had post-traumatic stress disorder before so I know the drill and how I react.
I am aware of how telling my eyewitness story to a couple of journalists outside the hospital helped me get the story out straight away.
My normal reaction to trauma is to tell someone, to share it.
More journos phoned yesterday. I must have given my mobile to the stringer who was asking questions when I was wandering outside the hospital getting fresh air after being stitched still in shock.
The Mail on Sunday and Metro wanted to send a photographer round! I said no way.
I said I felt it was important to get witness statements out at the time as I was there and felt relatively untraumatised so I'd rather they spoke to me than shoved their mikes and cameras in the faces of those who were shell-shocked or more injured.
Having done that I really do not want any more fuss.
I happened to be there, I said what it was like, that's enough.
I'm dumping on the internet under my urban75 [community and action website] pseudonym. I'm talking to people who love me, I'm doing what I need to get through this.
I was incredibly lucky but I have no desire to become a "Blast Survivor Girlie" one week on.
I still really, really want to know - need to know - if the bomb was on my carriage and if any of the people who I saw getting in at King's Cross were hurt or died, especially the laughing black woman with braids.
Her smiling face haunts me, as does the fact that someone may have got in behind her carrying the bomb.
If the bomb was that close why aren't I dead?
Keep thinking of WH Auden's Icarus poem about the banality of evil.

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