‘Trauma changes you - it makes you angry at the world. You ask yourself “why me?” You don’t deserve this and you feel alone. People will tell you “you’re so brave” but you don’t feel brave at all.’
Crystal Rose Turner-Brightman, 17, is reaching out to other survivors of traumatic experiences with a message that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and they can help themselves.
Crystal was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] after being severely burnt in an accident involving naked candles just over a year ago.
‘I had third degree burns across my stomach, up my left upper arm and the front of my shoulder,’ explained Crystal, from Southampton. ‘There are no words that can describe how painful it was.’
Crystal's story was broadcast on ITV Meridian on Thursday, August 9.
Crystal began to feel very sad and suffered with flashbacks and nightmares as a result of the trauma, she was no longer happy with the person she had become.
‘I was so focused on my physical recovery that the mental recovery never occurred – and it hit me like a tonne of bricks,’ Crystal said. ‘Trauma has changed me. In a way that I felt so broken and lost that now I want to fight for other people to not feel that way.’
She says she doesn’t want to be defined by her scars and wants to encourage others to find healthy coping mechanisms and strive towards the person they want to be - survivors and not victims.
Crystal has made a short inspirational film which gives an insight into her journey to recovery.
In reaction to Crystal’s campaign Vicki Mogridge-Percy, youth worker at No Limits, said: ‘I think what Crystal showed here is that trauma can cause massive change to life and that it just takes time. There’s no jumping to the end, you’ve got to go through these difficulties and it all just takes time.’
Crystal's project was funded by Barker Mill Estates.