Functional neurological disorders can affect your body even if your brain functions normally. This was the case for Mandi Benson, a woman who was left paralysed after an old rape trauma was triggered.
Mandi Benson is 31, and for 17 years she has hidden a terrible secret. Back when she was 14 she was raped. Now, the repressed trauma led to functional neurological disorder, leaving her almost paralysed.
She kept everything a secret for 17 years
Mandi Benson tried to hide everything and she refused to acknowledge what had happened. “I kept it locked in a box for many, many years. I’d never talk about feelings. I was this hard girl who seemed to have no emotions, but in fact I was very sensitive underneath, it was a pretence,” she declared.
The horrible ordeal took place in summer 1995, when Mandi and her friends met a group of older boys. She agreed to take a walk with one of them and he took her to an isolated area where she was raped. For years, Mandi felt like it was her fault “I was ashamed of myself so I never told anyone.I blamed myself because I knew I shouldn’t have gone off with him and I thought I should have fought harder. I used to think it was my problem and I was a little tart. I just blocked it all out.”
Now, her trauma resurfaced and led to FND. Mandi is warning other girls not to repeat her mistake and deal with their trauma: ““I was covering up how upset I was all these years and it’s come out in FND. There’s a warning there to people – deal with things before they affect you. Don’t lock anything away. You think you are coping with something like that, but I wasn’t and I’m disabled now.”