Resilient youth

She was seven when she survived a night of horror. Her home in Nigeria was marked for an attack that night for belonging to the ‘wrong’ ethnic group. My friend and the rest of her family were destined to be killed. But she survived. Her neighbors who noticed the mark alerted them and helped them escape at a time when their other neighbors were being executed and even burned alive. That night, my friend saw a man die in very violent circumstances. The shock was so intense that she could not speak for two weeks. Over two decades later, she is no longer in danger and has now built a new life. As we sat listening to her mother retell the sequence of events that happened that night, my friend realized she had forgotten most of it. Now as an adult, living in the U.S. with her family, it was safe to recollect and recount the details of what had occurred. Fortunately, memory is selective, and it allowed my friend to forget the painful experience... —