The Orlando massacre and wounds that do not heal

The acts in memory of the 49 killed in the massacre of the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016, still give relatives and survivors a great “pain” and reopen their wounds, which is why many opted For leaving these days the city.

Social worker Nancy Rosado, a 21-year New York police officer, builds on the experience gained in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, Twin Towers bombings to be close to Pulse’s families and victims and try to make sense of it. That does not have it “.

Rosado, who is part of the LGBTQ community and is also a Puerto Rican, like most of the victims of that night, explains to Efe that this anniversary is a difficult time for many of those affected by this event, which left 58 injured.

The social worker explained that these days are being “very hard” because a year has passed and the “pain is the same”, and in fact with so much homage the mother of one of the fatalities came to say: “It’s as if they wanted to give me To my son to bits “.

“Recovering from traumas takes time, goes slowly,” says Rosado, because the victims see that the people, the city, are “pushing forward” and they remain anchored in fear and sadness, which generates them “courage “Wondering why they are still” behind “.

An example of this “conflict” may be Victor Alberto Báez, who was unscathed by the massacre at the gay nightclub that night celebrated a Latin party, but lost two friends, Amanda Alvear and Mercedes Flores.

Although unscathed, the psychological sequels are still lasting and could not stand the idea of ​​being in Orlando during these very emotional days.

His mother, Iris Febo, tells Efe that his son made the decision to leave the city after seeing the videos that the local police released at the end of last May, with the images that captured the cameras of the uniforms of the agents who Intervened in the operation and until the death of the murderer, Omar Mateen.

In these videos, Báez appears himself, who saved his life by taking refuge for more than an hour in a small warehouse of the place, where he hid under a wooden plank and remain totally dark, in “black”, while he heard the shots And the cries of the other victims.

Therefore, these days the whole family traveled “very far” from Orlando, to prevent the young man had to relive the tragic moments suffered a year ago.

Like him, other survivors chose to leave the city, while 29 of them traveled to Boston where the traditional Gay Pride march was celebrated and paid homage.

Since the slaughter, Báez has tried to maintain a life as normal as possible and has continued to work and study, which, in his mother’s opinion, has contributed to “spend this time” in the best way possible.

“It has been very hard.There have been good times, but others where there have been relapses. If I have had them, imagine who lived it?”, Explains Febo.

She comments that the psychologist who attends her son is “shocked” by the memories so vivid that Baez still has those tragic hours and that he has not wanted to refresh these days in Orlando.

Rosado comments that, despite the fear generated by the Pulse massacre, the youngest members of the LGBT community leave and fill the nightclubs, perhaps because they are more “brave.”

Meanwhile, and after these twelve months, the direct victims of what happened are more “quiet”, they lose their fear and gradually stop looking at “the tail of the eye”.

A certain tranquility shared by the family of Eric Iván Ortiz-Rivera, one of the mortal victims of Pulse at 36 years.

Her sister Frances explains to Efe that her mother is “quite well and, in everything, calm” and “has taken the whole process quite peacefully.”

That spirit is what has allowed him to travel this week from Puerto Rico to actively participate in the acts in memory of his son and the other 48 innocent victims of Pulse.

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