I suppose that in order to understand, you need to start at the beginning of the day that changed the person I knew myself to be. I was 29 years old, fun, bubbly, not afraid of anything. One simple moment in my life, changed everything.
October 2, 2011 was the day I became a scared person. That was the day I was physically assaulted by a stranger. Even now, my heart races when I even think about everything that happened. This man, who was a stranger to me at the time, pushed me into a wall, and caused me great physical and emotional damage because he was in a position of authority and I would not let him into my home.
My eyes are tearing up at this moment, thinking of what I have been through, and what I am still going through. I ended up completely tearing a major ligament in my knee, and having a few bruises. I was on crutches for a few weeks, and I am still on a cane now. It is unknown whether I will ever walk normally again, without the use of a cane. The emotional damage has been much greater.
I used to be a person who could get through anything, do anything, I was not afraid. The night I came home from the hospital, I cried myself to sleep. I can still remember how terrified I felt, I am reliving that terror, just writing about it. The next few weeks, I was on crutches, and since I had stairs leading out of my apartment, I couldn’t really go anywhere.
The real dilemma was, I didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to stay in my apartment, where I felt safe, or at least not outside. I would jump at the slightest noise, and I hated being alone. Shadows on the walls could cause me to have a panic attack, as could noises outside. I became very distrustful (and still am) of persons in positions of authority, and become verbally combative when approached by them.
Approximately two months ago, I saw the man who attacked me. He was sitting in restaurant, enjoying his meal. My presence had no effect on him. I, however, had to leave, and my meal was ruined. Never in my life, has something, or someone, affected me so greatly.
Six months later, if I even start to think about what happened, I get all shaky, and I still have a hard time talking about it. I have been diagnosed with PSTD, I thought that was something only Army vets get, I was wrong. Anything traumatic can cause PTSD. When I do start to think about it, I push it out of my mind, think about anything at all, except it.
Life for me right now, is a dash of chaos,mixed with uncertainty. A bowl of scared, combined with the fierce determination to resume a normal life. I want to get myself back, the new, improved version. A person who is confident, calm, and assured of who they are.
A person who is comfortable with all their faults, and has hopes and dreams. A person who asks themselves, every single day, “How can I be a better me today?”