Monday, February 15, 2016

Journal 5-Chapter 17 Alexandra Abrams

In chapter 17, Beah describes about his experience of being shot. Esther asked Ishmael what had happened with his wounds and where did the wounds come from. Beah tells the story of the day he had been shot during an attack where things went wrong. After speaking of his experience, a new character, Leslie arrives at the center. Leslie, Esther, Alhaji, and Beah, drive to the Freetown to take Ishmael to the hospital. During their trip, Alhaji and Ishmael are gifted with gifts that both Leslie and Esther had bought for them. One thing that really made Ishmael really happy was when Esther had given him a Bob Marley cassette. Returning back to the center, Ishmael ended up realizing that he was looking forward to Esther's arrival in the afternoons. When all happiness is over, Ishmael falls asleep and has a terrible nightmare about his family. Struggling through that night made Ishmael really bothered. On the next visit to see Esther she could see that he was very bothered about something. Although Beah doesn't quite trust Esther, he quotes," I only liked talking to her because I felt that she didn't judge me for what I have been a part of; she looked at me with the same inviting eyes and welcoming smile that said I was a child" (166). 

I think the theme in this chapter is trust. Trust is really hard for Ishmael to comprehend. Beah has grown a bond with Esther that I believe he is very shielded with who he wants to trust with his unspoken tragedy. Being a young child in the war causes extreme PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). When a child is growing with pure knowledge and then forced to fight in a war, it makes the child forget the good times of being a child which is then changing the mind of the child remembering nothing but war experiences. This has in fact not changed in the century we are living in now today. More children are being exposed to war and killed because most of the children aren't able to hold up the gun by themselves. When being involved into war, not only children, but adults as well have had extreme trust issues with others trying to help them overcome PTSD. Ishmael really does enjoy seeing Esther, but that lack of trust is still in between the two. All Ishmael had the knowledge of was to trust his people and no one else. When experiencing PTSD, trust is hard ton build, especially when a child has been taken away their innocent by risking their lives in a war that they shouldn't fight. 

Growing up I have always had trust issues with people. I am continuing till this day gradually understanding how to control my own experiences in life. Myself, has been through a hard patch in my life. Many of these challenges I face today is by overcoming the past and working hard to make a better future. I have a hard time believing people when they say I am their friend. I don't honestly know what the meaning of a friend is. Until I entered college I have opened up a lot more with two of the most important people in my life that aren't my family or my fiance. PTSD is common in just people who have fought in war, but those who have been neglected, abused, or any tragedy that still haunts the innocents life today. Taking away someones innocent can destroy a person to where they are afraid to communicate with anyone that will abandon their trust. Using this information, we can secure others by creating a safe zone where the person feels the most comfort. We can see this in adolescents in patient facilities or adult facilities. Also, counseling can help create a copping skill that can develop trust with good people that are willing to help those in the need of time. Developing PTSD and trust is a challenge. Knowing that you are feeling watched and unsafe at times isn't bad. Growing from this experience can only make someone stronger and be prepared for any obstacle that comes their way. 

Overcoming a tragedy makes you the strongest person alive


  1. Trust is definitely a very important theme in this chapter, and in life. I've also grown up having a lot of trust issues. I love the picture that you chose!

  2. I like how your image features both PTSD and trust together to show that they are and can be conected.


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