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Beirut kteer bteshbahni

Author: Anonymous, Lebanon
When the explosion happened, it was during the summer semester, and we had WhatsApp groups for the classes, so one girl in our WhatsApp group heard the first explosion and she was like “hey guys take care my windows have been broken” so I saw the message immediately when she sent it, and we were close friends so I wanted to call her and check up on her because she didn’t give any explanation. So I called her and when I was on the phone with her the second explosion, the big one, happened so I heard it live even though I was in Algeria. I felt so shocked. I just wanted to make sure she is safe because I was literally on the phone with her. I was traumatized. She hung up without being able to give me an explanation, so I thought it was something in her house or something because I didn’t know what was going on. So, I went on twitter because I felt it was something huge so they would be talking about it. Then, five minutes after it happened people were speculating and saying different things. So, the first five or ten minutes were just confusion for me, I didn’t understand anything, I didn’t know anything. Then people started to send videos of the actual explosion. I was so traumatized. I went and texted all my friends and loved ones to make sure they are okay. I was so scared. I even texted people I never talked to in my life, I wanted to make sure everything is alright. My mom was so traumatized too, she was so scared for me because I wanted to go back to Beirut, a place that I consider a home. The few hours afterwards I was so confused I was sad, traumatized, scared, and I couldn’t pinpoint what was going on with me. I didn't know if it was because the people I know could’ve been injured, or because I couldn’t do anything to help and felt powerless. The uncertainty and confusion were the most prevalent feelings. And afterwards my feelings started settling down. I was sad, angry, and scared when I started to understand what was going on. Right after it happened I kept texting and calling my best friend in Beirut but she wouldn’t pick up, then she replied and she was like "I’m not okay I’m in the hospital". So I was so SHOCKED. Like what happened to her and she couldn’t explain. I called my other friend who was crying and traumatized and couldn’t explain anything. No one could explain anything to me. They were overwhelmed. I was so anxious. Then I was feeling so guilty for what happened to Beirut, and that it might never be back the way it was. I felt homeless, because Beirut is home to me. It’s the place where I feel most safe, it’s the place where I feel most free. Where I feel most myself. Beirut is similar to me. I was like oh my god what is going to happen to me!? And to Beirut!?It’s a very weird feeling. You feel survivor's guilt although you weren’t there and you did not physically survive it in a way. But you feel powerless and that you should have been there because it was the place you loved. People started telling me you should be grateful that you are not there and that it did not affect you! I was like actually no I want to be there! The way it affected my mental health is that I felt survivors’ guilt, I felt super sad and that I lost a piece of me. Beirut meant the world to me. I felt so angry and anxious for how the world works.

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