post-traumatic stressing out

Today I feel achy, and wiped out, and generally just sad. I’d like to think it is my period, because beautiful moon flow womanhood time tends to wipe me out in a very similar way, but I know it’s because I am delicate and fragile like a snowdrop, and I hate it very, very much.

Getting mugged was scary, and it’s made me realize that I should be more alert and maybe carry a flamethrower, but it shouldn’t be something that derails my life entirely and makes me feel all shaky and sends me to quake under my bed, afraid to leave the house. If I’m not careful, I feel like I’m going to become a shut-in who orders all her groceries online and keeps her shades drawn and her curtains shut and collects piles of newspapers and cardboard boxes and all the cats in the neighborhood. I’m going to become Boo Radley.

I know, I should give myself a break, and be gentle with myself and
take care of me and being mugged is very terrible and if were anyone
else who had gotten knocked down on 14th Street, I’d say dude, stay
home for the rest of the week and eat chocolate and cry a lot and feel
sorry for yourself, because that sucks and is lame and you deserve to
wallow. But I’m just getting impatient with myself for wanting to stay
home, and cry, and feel sorry for myself because my back hurts and my
neck hurts and everything is sore. I keep thinking about it—I was dumb
to have been just bouncing down the street on the phone, blithely
unaware. I was so stupid to have fought the fucker—what if he had
hauled off and punched me? What if he had one hand on my bag and the
other on a knife? Or a grenade launcher or a broken bottle or brass
knuckles or a can of Raid or a ferret or tazer, or. These are the
ridiculous things I keep thinking about. I am already tired of it. I
really am fine. I’d like to go ahead and feel fine now, please.

8 Replies to “post-traumatic stressing out”

  1. Oh, Anne, I missed that this had happened. That completely sucks. But it’s not your fault, and I don’t think it was unreasonable to hang onto your purse, either. I mean, sure, he could have had many armaments – but if my uncle had wheels, he’d be a bicycle. Ifs, as they say, butter no parsnips.

    A certain degree of impatience and free-floating anger is to be expected, given you were surprised by the attack. There’s never a good time to be attacked, true, and there’s no schedule, but still, being startled is being startled. I find my free-floating anger attaches to whatever’s nearby, which is sometimes me. Sometimes it’s not, and I kick puppies, metaphorically. It’s hard, and just because you need to be kind to yourself doesn’t mean that it has to look nice to other people.

    Take a hot bath, for the soreness, and go about your business, if that’s being kind to yourself. Do what you need, and let the puppies look after themselves.

  2. You’re right, you do need to cut yourself a break, but I completely understand how you’re feeling. It’s totally natural to want to both get on with life and still hide under the covers at the same time.

    I think you handled yourself pretty well, given the circumstances. You stood up for yourself, and you won. Yeah, he could have had a knife or taken a swing at you, but he didn’t. You read the situation well. He would have been much more agressive if he really meant to harm you. Anyway, none of that is here nor there. You survived and you’ve learned what you need to learn. Be proud of yourself and do what you need to do to heal.

    Now, eat some chocolate and I hope you feel better soon.

  3. This is an abnormal situation, but your feelings are normal within the context of the situation. You’re allowed to feel violated, angry and frustrated. And impatient. Of course you can feel impatient.

    Should you feel these things? Should you have given him your purse? Should you have held back? Should you?

    Fuck should.

    If that’s what you feel, feel it. If fighting back is what you did, try to see how brave you were. How awesome. And, yes, how lucky. The interesting thing is…you might be feeling a lot of the same things if you hadn’t fought back at all…and you might even be angry at yourself for NOT having done anything.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is to try to be good to yourself. Feel what you feel and if chocolate, cozy blankies and dates with your kitty help…so be it. *That* is what you should do.

    BIG HUG, my friend. I’m sorry you’re hurting today but I’m glad you’re safe.


  4. Forget chocolate. I would be up to my ears in chocolate martinis.

    And what you did was your INSTINCT. You can’t control it. It was your ‘lizard brain’ acting for you. Who knows what a lizard would do if mugged?!

    And your mom – is she begging you to move home? Mine would call me every single hour if I were mugged. Four times and hour if I were mugged WHILE ON THE PHONE WITH HER.

    Put your feet up. And btw, it would not be uncommmon to have an increase in anxiety a week or two or even longer later. Keep in touch with your doc – you may have to tweak the meds. (Speaking from experience perhaps? The meds – not the mugging).

    Take care. Stare at your sweet sparrow tattoo. Space out. Be gentle with your body and your mind.

  5. I didn’t get that it just happened again, either. Maybe it was too hard to come out and say it. I can’t talk about what happened to me when I was attacked. But it fucked up my life completely. I almost got fired telling a colleague to fuck off in front of the boss, I got 2 speeding tickets (ruining my 9 years perfect driving record),I ruined up my perfect credit rating, I took on that biker bitch at that concert (who could’ve knifed me–I thought later), my sex life is in tatters, I cut off my stepdaughter and I fired my therapist and refuse to get a new one. There’s more, but I don’t want to talk about it. And the good news is, I think I’m getting better…
    Be careful, Anne. I think it’s better you held onto your purse. Even if he could’ve knifed you.
    At least you don’t have that humiliation–that he got your purse.

  6. PS–it got so bad I was fighting with flight attendants–Northwest threatened to put me on the Do Not Fly list! LOL

  7. Anne, if you’re not dead, you did something right. Of course, people can do everything right and still be dead, but you’re not dead. By all means take full credit. No one should begrudge you that. You’ve got to get SOMETHING out of this awful experience.

  8. I’d be crapping nickels if I got mugged, seriously. That sucks that it happened, more for the fact that your head got messed with, not that your stuff got stolen.

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