What does life look like post graduation from graduate school? I am about to find out!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

"It Gets Better" . . . doesn't it??

This is a blog post that I was hoping to never have to write but unfortunately, here I sit writing it. It deals with something that happened to me yesterday that was very scary and traumatic. Writing this blog, for me, is a way of getting some catharsis and sorting through my issues with what happened. First, let me preface by saying that I am physically ok. A little banged up and sore but no permanent damage.
I was mugged yesterday. It was quite scary and traumatic. Three kids tackled me from behind, held me down, put their hands over my mouth so I couldn't scream and then proceeded to dig through my pockets and steal my wallet, cell phone and iPod. They also slapped me on the face a couple times and knocked my glasses and my shoes off. Did I mention this was in broad daylight with witnesses around?? Literally, my first thought was that I was going to be raped. That's how scary it was for me. I was so afraid for my life and am so thankful that they did not have any weapons or anything as the results could have been much worse. I know how lucky I am to be alive and for that I'm grateful.
I have now experienced one of the worst things that a person can experience and I don't know how to deal with it. How does one even begin to process such a violent episode like that?? I'm still really shaken up by the incident and had a hard time falling asleep last night because I kept replaying the attack all night in my head. Normally, on Friday afternoons, I'm the only one home but this particular Friday, my roommate Mara just happened to have the day off work and let me use her cellphone to make all the necessary phone calls and such. I don't know what I would have done if she hadn't been home. How would I have called the police or called to cancel my credit and debit cards?? I also keep wondering what would have happened to me if it had happened at night?? Would I have ended up dead or severely beaten or raped or whatever else??
I know some of you reading this are full of the idea that the big cities are dangerous, bad places and so this post will only confirm that for you and I am not gonna lie that there is a part of me that just wants to hop on the next plane home to Texas and never come back and go back to my old life which was safe but boring. However, I know that that is not the appropriate response to this. It won't do me any good to run away from these issues. This could have happened anywhere and does happen anywhere. There really is no such thing as safe anymore. I would have never thought that something like that would have happened in broad daylight on a busy street in the middle of the day two blocks from my house. I've always felt safe everywhere I've gone but this attack has taken me out of that mode. I've now come to realize that the world is a big, scary, dangerous place and sometimes bad things happen when you least expect it. Who would have ever thought that it would be safer to walk down the streets of NYC by yourself at night than it would be to walk home from the grocery store in your Chicago neighborhood in broad daylight??
One of the many issues that I was working on with my therapist before I moved was the issue of always wanting to blame myself for things. Whenever something bad has happened to me, I have always tended to tell myself that I deserved it or that I had earned it. Unfortunately, I have found myself doing that again with my attack. If I hadn't gone to that particular grocery store or if I hadn't gone by myself or if I had just stayed home and gone to the store the next day, this never would have happened. I know I shouldn't blame myself for it but how can I not?? It's hard not to blame myself and I suspect that many people have the same problem. I'm almost afraid to leave the house now for fear something else will happen to me, not that there is anything else for people to steal. However, I can't continue to blame myself and I can't let my fear paralyze me. I have to move on and accept the fact that it happened and that I will probably never get my stuff back and live with the aftermath of that.
Please don't be worried about me. Or do but know that I'm relatively ok. I've experienced a traumatic event and so it may be a while until I am fully recovered but I will eventually be whole again. I'm trying not to be angry with myself or with God but I could sure use any words of encouragement and support that people could provide. I will tell you one thing, I am definitely missing my support net back in Texas right now. The physical scars will fade but the emotional scars will be there for some time. However, I know that I will be ok. After all, as we've heard over and over again in the last month, it gets better!! At least, I sure hope it does!!


  1. I'm so sorry that happened to you, Tad. You are in my prayers more than ever now. Blessings on you as you heal from this.

  2. Hey Tad, Thanks for working through this. Let me know what we can do. Seriously we can work on getting reality shows for you. So sorry i cant be there to sit with you....but if you want to come over....we would love to sit with you here.

  3. Tad, I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that. It's understandable that you want someone to blame (I often want to blame myself, too) or even that you feel angry with God. Know that you are loved and respected by many, and that I am in awe of your bravery to continue on.

  4. Just know that your Mom wishes she could be there right now and hold you in my loving arms! My job when you guys were little was to kiss the boo-boos away and make it all better! I can only hug you in my heart and hold you close with my love! Your cousin, Scott, used to live in Chicago, and he said always travel in pairs for safety, and only carry what you absolutely need. I was mugged in Central Park in NYC, so Chicago is not unique, no place is "safe". I was held at gunpoint in my home in Sacramento. It is traumatic, but you will get through it - talking to a counselor helps. Is the pastor at Lakeview available for counseling - that would be a place to start! God loves you and will help heal you! He loves you and so do I!

  5. I'm so sorry to hear about this Tad! Where in Chicago were you? I know what you mean about wanting to blame yourself or think, "Why didn't I do such and such differently?" My last car accident (concussion, car was totaled, etc) was like that. "If only I had done this," and "If only I had done that," plays through your mind. How do you get over that? Time. I know it's a cliche to say, "Time heals all wounds," but it's true. If you need anything, let me know!

  6. Tad, I love you. So sorry that this happened to you. I'm singing the "I will lie down in peace song" for you, until you can sing it yourself.

  7. Tad, you know how much I love you. You will get past this. I am so grateful that you are safe.

    You were absolutely one of the things/people I was thankful for today (and everyday).