It feels as if this Very Bad Incident will never leave me, and yes, I know it has not even been a week and I should be patient. Poor M about got his head handed to him this morning (in the police department’s visitor parking lot no less) for very kindly and gently suggesting I try to cut myself some slack on putting this behind me. My relief at knowing the bad men were jailed on another offense has turned to horror today.
Today I had an appointment downtown to see if I could identify the men who accosted me. Having never before had a reason to visit the local police department, I was not sure what to expect and was rather relieved to find it was nothing like what you see in the movies and TV. The police department seems very much like any other government office with uniforms everywhere. From the security staff on everyone we met was very courteous and kind to us, although I did wonder if my fidgeting made me look guilty of something. M had to finally hold onto both my hands to keep me from shredding my cuticles in my fit of nervous anxiety.
The officers who spoke with us were very nice, explaining that my description of the men matched another report of 2 men arrested this weekend in the same general area. They showed me arrangements of photographs and I while I was pretty sure the ones my eye was immediately drawn to were correct, I looked at all of the photos carefully to be sure before making my final selection.
It was not until I correctly identified the 2 men in custody that they told me what they had done to warrant arrest. My description of the knife I was threatened with matched one found in the one man’s possession. That knife was also used in a rape and attempted murder of another woman on Saturday. She is still hospitalized because of her injuries, but she is expected to live.
The rest of what was said is kind of a blur and I am quite sure I was listening intently to what was said, but right now I cannot recall much of it. I know I read through the paperwork they presented, signed and dated where indicated, and thanked them for their time and the good work they do. Next I remember is passing a woman’s bathroom and bolting inside to vomit.
Sorry, TMI again.
Here I am, a couple of hours later, and I still do not know how I feel. Relieved? Lucky? Blessed? Laden with guilt? The last, definitely yes, and it is a type of survivor’s guilt. I have no idea what to do with it or how to deal with it. I am soldiering on, about to meet a client for lunch and act as if my mind is 100% focused on the business at hand.
No one deserves what that woman is enduring, and I truly hope she comes through this horrific experience okay. I know nothing about her and can find no reports in the local newspapers about what happened. What I was told about her injuries was very general, yet it is enough for my mind to fill in the blanks.
This experience is so horrid, and I feel … simply awful. And fortunate, lucky, blessed. I am grateful and thankful to be unharmed. If I truly believed in them, I definitely say I had some sort of guardian angel watching out for me. But then that opens the whole quagmire of why me? Why was I spared and another not? What makes me more deserving than someone else?
I do not want to go there, further open the confetti cannon of emotions that are now flying all over inside my heart and mind. Both feel like they are about to explode from overload.
No one ever says life is fair. I just happened to land on the side of good fortune this time. And the complexities of my thoughts and emotions are like a philosophical debate that could spiral on into infinity.
I was lucky, she was not. I need to just leave it at that right now. And breathe … just keep breathing.
So glad to be meeting with therapist TM in a few hours. Hopefully he has some wisdom or practical advice to help me sort out and make sense of what seems to be the unsortable.