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!!