Teen Survivors Rebuilding Lives After Manchester Bombing

"I just want to be normal. I just want to be like everybody else."

At just 10-years-old, Erin witnessed horrors no child should.

She, her older sister Caitlin and their mum Annette joined 14,000 other concertgoers to watch Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena on May 23 last year.

It took Erin nine months to be able to talk about what she saw the night 22 people died.

Mourners lay flowers in tribute to the Manchester Bombing victims. Image: Getty Images

On Monday, Four Corners aired the BBC documentary Manchester Bombing: Our Story filmed earlier in the year, following the daily struggle of those who survived the terrorist attack as they tried to rebuild their lives.

Seven months on from the attack, Annette struggles to help Erin as she tries to comprehend that night.

"People look and see this bright, bubbly, carefree girl, and I just think she [Erin] wears this mask so well that sometimes she fools herself," Annette said.

The concert tickets had been a Christmas present, and both Erin and Caitlin still smile when they recount the concert.

"It still gives me goose bumps thinking about it. Everyone got up and went, 'Whoa!'  Oh, it was amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better concert for my first one," Caitlin said.

But the minutes that followed have left both mentally scarred, particularly Erin who suffers flashbacks and has trouble sleeping.

"She's struggling and it's hard. She still obviously clearly feels under threat," Annette said.

Another survivor, 17-year-old Amelia, now suffers PTSD, and says she feels like her life has stood still since the attack.

Image: ABC Four Corners

"I suppose as time goes on and everybody starts getting on with their lives, it's kind of left me, like, 'What am I doing?' 'Am I moving on?' And that's probably what gets me down the most," she said.

Amelia's finger was almost severed and she suffered shrapnel wounds to her face.

"Since everything happened, I've had so many [counselling] appointments,  I've had to quit college," she said.

Friends Elycia and Niamh had gone to the concert together, and now feel like they've lost the independence they once had.

Image: Four Corners

"There are so many scenarios that I have made up in my head, and have flashbacks and put them into situations of things that could happen in the shopping centre or the cinema," Niamh said.

"It's so frustrating, because you think 'Why can't I just do it like everyone else is?' and just do it without making a fuss or having a panic attack."

Despite the mental and physical battles they face, the survivors are determined to rebuild their lives.

"I just want to be normal. I just want to be like everybody else," said Erin.

Feature Image: ABC Four Corners