Ohio, USA

A Path to Healing

It happened on January 21, 2015. After arriving home from my evening class, I was brutally attacked by two people outside of my apartment complex. I did not know these people, and I am still unsure what the motive was, but the entire ordeal altered my life in a way that I can't even begin to fully explain. I don't want to dive into the disturbing details of everything that took place on that dreadful evening, but I will say that I thought I was going to die, because that was their intention, to kill me. All I could think about in what felt like the longest 30 minutes of my life, was my mother, my family. My friends. I wasn't ready to die. Not like that. I was scared for my life, but something told me to fight back. I couldn't let them win. Luckily, a neighbor heard my yells for help, and rushed outside. She saved my life. Had she not come outside, I have no doubt that they would have taken my life.

The emotional, mental, and physical scars are still very visible and present, and will stay with me for the rest of my days. I still feel crippled from this horrific thing that happened to me, and I'm trying to let it go and just live my life free of worry and paranoia, but the reality is, it's not that simple. No one will ever really understand what I deal with internally because of this. To be honest, I don't expect them to.

It's still extremely difficult to talk about, and I'm not sure if those closest to me even realize that this still affects me. In fact, as I'm typing this, tears are streaming down my face, and I've already taken several pauses from typing because it's just really upsetting to relive, but I've been wanting to write this blog post for some time now, for my own personal reasons I suppose.

The road to recovery was challenging. As someone who hates depending on others, my life seemed to have turned into a charity case, and it was hard to accept all the help that was blessed upon me during my downtime. Looking back, I'm thankful for the ones who stepped up. But it was a hard pill to swallow at the time. I was being stubborn; I still tried to do things by myself that I knew was absolutely impossible. Because I had broken a finger on each of my hands, in addition to my other injuries, I was pretty much useless. I couldn't even wash myself. My mother had to bathe me, feed me, dress me. I felt completely helpless. Even though I could barely hold a pencil, let alone write, I still tried to work on my college course studies from home because I didn't want to feel like I was giving up, didn't want to feel like a failure. Even after everything I had just gone through, I was still concerned with passing these classes. I needed to do something to feel like I could still "live my life my way." But, after about a week of trying to be Superwoman, I surrendered, to everything, to everyone.

The next three months, while on medical leave from work, were spent attempting to heal my mind, body, and spirit, attending weekly physical therapy sessions twice a week, learning to be back in my apartment alone and not be afraid (by the way, I never went back to the apartment where I was attacked; I ended up moving into a new place) being comfortable getting back into my car, the same car that they attempted to abduct me in, the same car they eventually stole...there's just so much, so much to express. I'm not even sure I'm going to publish this post, because there were so many layers to my story, to my healing. Here we are, in 2019, four years later, and I am still in recovery, still emotionally and mentally affected by this horrible thing that happened to me. I'm afraid to go out at night. I'm afraid to sleep with my bedroom door open. Unable to watch anything on television that triggers me in a negative way. Paranoid when people are walking too closely behind me, not to mention the fact that sometimes, my mind just won't shut off from replaying this moment of my life. Some days, I don't feel as beautiful as I once was because of the damage to the right side of my face, which the average person may not even notice, but I know the difference, and it saddens me. Every day, I think about what happened to me. Every single day. It's exhausting. You never know what people are going through; you never know what people are dealing with internally. This is why I wish people were more empathetic, more compassionate and kind to one another, especially in this day and age. We're all dealing with something.

The suspects were apprehended a day after my attack. Their sentencing was in September of the same year; they will serve 18-33 years in prison. By the way, they were very young; a male and female - ages 18 and 20.

I'm still in awe that this happened to me. To ME. It still makes me sad. I still cry often. I still get angry. I sat with a therapist/counselor to talk more in depth about what I was/am feeling, but it's been a while since I last visited. One of the things on my 2019 list is to find a new therapist and make an appointment to sit with her. Talking to someone helps, even though it can be hard to face these feelings head on.

Four years later. I'm still here. Still healing. Still trying to understand the impact of trauma and how it effects the way I move about day-to-day. Still protecting my peace. Still thankful through it all.

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