CBC reporter Mellissa Fung was kidnapped, stabbed, and thrown down a hole outside Kabul where she spent 28 days in captivity. Five years later, she returned to Afghanistan:
“Back at home after my ordeal, I refused to let my nightmares rise out of the darkness. I took on the cause of wounded soldiers as a personal journalistic mission. I visited almost every Canadian Forces base in the country, reporting on soldiers suffering from traumatic brain injuries or PTSD, or struggling over disputed claims with the Veterans Review and Appeal Board. But I couldn’t shake the guilt that nagged at me. I sought the help of a therapist, who assured me that my anxiety—a sense of something unfinished—was part of my ‘new normal.’ Still, I was haunted by those I had left behind. I had gone to Afghanistan to expose the plight of displaced people, abused women, and orphaned children. Instead, because of my kidnapping, I had become the story.
“All of this left me desperate to go back, even though some of my friends and family thought I was crazy. CBC was reluctant to send me to Afghanistan: what if I was kidnapped again? My inability to return made me feel like a hostage all over again, helpless and powerless. Unable to let it rest, I read articles and books, and set up a Google Alert on anything to do with the country I thought I would never set foot in again. I didn’t realize it then, but I was slowly becoming a stakeholder in the futures of those girls and women.”