Sunday Territorian

I was emotionall­y stunted


GENEVIEVE Gyulavary has never been to ground zero.

She turns her phone and TV off this time every year, not wanting to be reminded of that day, two decades ago, when at 13 she lost her Australian father to the 9/11 terror attacks.

“I spent many years not talking about it, not dealing with it, not crying or anything,” Ms Gyulavary said from her home in Connecticu­t this week.

“I was so traumatise­d and emotionall­y stunted.

“It’s gotten more challengin­g for me because I’ve had therapy and time to process what happened (in recent years).”

The challenge only intensifie­s today, as the now 33-yearold breaks her anniversar­y rule and attends a 9/11 memorial for the first time in New York.

Peter Gyulavary, who emigrated to the US in the 1970s from Geelong, Victoria, was just 44 when he died in the alQaeda-inspired attacks.

He had been working as an environmen­tal architect for Washington Group Internatio­nal on the 91st floor of the south tower of the World Trade Center when the second plane hit.

United Airlines Flight 175, smashed into the building between the 78th and 84th floors.

At that moment, Ms Gyulavary, who runs her own physical therapy business and is engaged to be married next year, said she “was robbed” of her father and often feels “really sad about that”.

“As I get older there are certain milestones: getting married, starting a business, buying a house and it’s difficult as I would have liked to know what my dad would have thought and to talk to him,” she said.

There have been “a lot of dark days” following the attacks, according to Ms Gyulavary, but her life is now in a “really good place”.

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