Here it goes,
Why would I ever leave beautiful, sunny Cape Town to live in cold, dark Sweden?
One word: Safety.
I never felt completely safe in Cape Town. Not in my home, not in my car and definitely not walking down the street. I always had that feeling in the back of my mind that something bad would eventually happen.
Every. single. one. of my SA friends has been victims of robbery, home invasion or similar incidents.
My world turned upside down when I was chased to my car by four men during broad daylight.
I was leaving a casting around lunch time in the outskirts of town, when a man started talking to me. I first couldn’t really hear what he was saying but, quickly, I understood he wasn’t just your normal weirdo hanging around. I started walking faster towards my car when I heard him whistling. Immediately three other men comes running towards me and my car.
Before this happened, I had never experienced the feeling of my life being in danger. But, when I started jogging towards my car, I knew this could end really badly.
I have no recollection of me actually getting in the car but, as I’m sitting in the driver’s seat, the one man is busy opening my car’s back door while three others are at the front of my car.
I still can’t remember really what happens after this or how I got out of the area. All I know is that I got out on the main road, tried to get my shit together and get myself home.
I phone my boyfriend, terrified, while driving. Normally, I would NEVER be on my phone in traffic but, in that moment I was too scared to pull over. I was shaking so badly I remember dropping my phone on the car floor.
Getting home to Diaan was the weirdest moment, I initially didn’t want to tell him what had happened because I was scared he would get mad at me. It’s crazy how your brain makes you think YOU have done something wrong in situations like this. Of course, Diaan wasn’t upset with me. He wanted to help me.
If you live in South Africa, you know there’s no way of getting help from the local police in a matter like this. It would’ve been no use trying to report it, which makes me sad thinking of it.
After what happened, I was, or I thought I was, completely fine. It was just a bad day and now it’s over.
But, slowly my anxiety started to build up and I was on the verge of a mental breakdown. I started going to therapy twice a week and that was very difficult for me, I struggled with accepting what had happened and that I needed help.
My therapist, Karen, never gave in and she “forced” me to work on myself and my PTSD. I owe her so much for that. Also, my family and my friends has been a big support as well, I’m blessed to have such caring people in my life.
When I started to feel better, Diaan and I began to talk about moving to Sweden. Sweden isn’t perfect but, at least it is much safer here and I don’t constantly have to have the feeling of being scared.
I think that South Africa and Cape Town is a beautiful, wonderful, amazing place and I will always love it dearly. I miss my South African friends every day and I wish I could see them more often.
Maybe one day when I feel stronger and my anxiety is better, we can move back. However, for now, Sweden will be our home.
I just want to thank all of you ready this for taking your time to listen to my story. If there’s anyone out there battling with PTSD or anxiety, PLEASE go see someone who can help you professionally. It helped me to get back to my old self.
Beautiful Cape Town