We met the 20 year old Mr UZ at a reception centre in Hungary. He told the Cordelia’s therapist, that he grew up in a wealthy family with his siblings. They were a part of the ethnic minority in their village. Their family owned lands, thus they were able to send their children to school, the parents found that very important. UZ graduated high school and started working in his father’s shop.
One day a terrorist group entered their village, burned their house down and killed one of his siblings and his father. Two of his other siblings managed to flee with their mother. He didn’t hear from them for a long time. (Later he was informed that they are probably in one of the neighbouring countries, in a refugee camp, but he did not manage to get into contact with them.) He was captured by armed men and locked into an underground cell for many weeks. Although in the country it was common, that they keep multiple people into one cell, here every prisoner had a separate cell.
He was taken up to ground level each day, where they burned his body with iron rods on several places, beat him and when they were finished, they took him back to the underground cell. He was tortured, because they were hoping to find his brother who was able to flee and find out more information about him. He hardly received any food or water and what he received was contaminated.
Following multiple weeks of torture they let him go as he was unable to provide information about his brother. However, they threatened him, that if he is unable to find out information about his brother, they will kill him. They told him, that they would look for him in a couple of weeks and take him back to prison. He feared for his life and decided to leave.
During his journey to Europe, he met several people, who were fleeing the same county as him. He joined them and together they entered Hungary. He received a longer treatment by our therapist at the reception centre. He was granted refugee status and decided to stay in Budapest. He was not in contact with his family and did not have any money, thus he started to work. Once he wanted to become a doctor, however the hope of getting into university seemed to be fading.
As at home they were wealthy, he was not used to physical work and he could not bear it for long. He lived in poor conditions and became depressed. Years later he contacted the Cordelia Foundation once again. This time the Cordelia’s therapist provided medication with psychotherapy in order to cure his depression. His mood began to improve after some sessions. It seems that he does not have symptoms of PTSD anymore, his depression stems mostly from difficulties of integration in his current living situation.
He is still living in Hungary, applied for an intensive Hungarian language course and is hoping to be able to continue his studies soon.
This post was originally published on Cordelia Foundation.