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Ngan Hanh Blossoms After Trauma

In Vietnamese ‘Ngan Hanh’ translates to Ginkgo biloba- a plant that survived a nuclear explosion in Japan and continued to bloom and become a medicine for everyone. This alias represents the survivor’s wish to have strength and vitality like this plant.

A few years ago, Ngan Hanh was sexually abused by somebody close to her. When she shared this painful story with her boyfriend, his response was one of neglect and apathy. This traumatized her and contributed to her developing PTSD. Before coming to Hagar, Hanh struggled for two years with PTSD, depression, and other consequences of these psychological conditions. Although she knew she needed professional help from a counselor or psychologist, she did not know who to trust or how effective the consultation would be.

Things changed when she came to Hagar. The underlying problems causing her psychological trauma and PTSD were resolved and depression and other physical and psychological symptoms disappeared. She no longer felt self-conscious.

“My goal was to bring everything back to the time before the trauma. Through this journey with Hagar, I became a better version of myself. I gained self-awareness and enhanced my emotional immune system to protect myself against negative energy. And thus, I can control my emotions more effectively and be positive. My mindset also changed from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. These are the intangible but priceless values I gained on my journey with Hagar so I could become who I am now.”

Ngan Hanh’s journey consisted of sleepless nights and exhausting days because of trauma and stress. However, Hanh always remembered a quote from Hagar’s psychologist to regain motivation: “Those people have stolen your past. What you need to do now is not let them steal your present and future anymore. Otherwise, on the journey to find justice for yourself, you will unconsciously help them.” Hanh remembered every single word. Whenever she felt weak, this reminded her she never had to bear others’ guilt and let them ruin her life. Since then, she has had more motivation to continue on the journey of healing and pursuing her dream.

“Even though I am a victim of sexual abuse, I realise that what hurt more were the victim blaming, stigma, and the lack of empathy from those closest to me. Therefore, even if survivors like me could forgive the attacker, and overcome the trauma, we still could not be ourselves in a safe environment. I believe if the community has adequate knowledge of sexual abuse and the effects of psychological conditions, they may change their attitude and behave differently.”

The most treasured moment for Hanh and the Hagar team, throughout her journey, was when she received an acceptance letter from Fullbright to study Communications on a scholarship. There was a burst of joy and happy tears when Hanh received the news.

“I felt like a striker who scored a goal, and was cheered by my teammates. Without Hagar’s support, I may not have “scored” like that.”

“Although my journey has been painful and tiring at times, thanks to Hagar there were many meaningful and beautiful moments. Those valuable experiences and lessons will follow me for the rest of my life. I feel so lucky to have Hagar by my side. Thanks Hagar for always being devoted and eager to clients like me, and for supporting me with the necessary knowledge and skills. Because of Hagar I was reborn and now I can continue on my path.”

Hagar pursues the highest degree of care and protection for each of its clients. To protect the identity of our clients, names have been changed and images do not necessarily represent the individual profiled.

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