I can’t sleep, despite having been up until at least 5 am. I’m avoiding calling my mom and telling her about the robbery because she’s on vacation and I don’t want to worry her. Plus, I guess it will just seem more real after telling her. Of course there’s a possibility she’s reading this, so, um, sorry Ma, I’ll call you after coffee when I’m feeling a little more put together.
Since I can’t sleep, here are the things that are keeping me awake:
When I got in my car last night, I saw the kids who robbed me down the street. My first instinct was to get in my car, lock the doors and be on my way ASAP (this is my normal response to being outside at 1 am, alone, and seeing anyone). I hesitated though. I started to click the lock thing on my key fob, but then I remembered that if you do that inside the car it sets off the alarm, so I reached for the actual door lock and right as I was about to click it the dudes pulled my car door open and pulled me out of the car.
In retrospect, maybe I should have set off the alarm, it might have sent them running the other way. I had my keys in my hand the entire time, even after they pulled from the car and forced me to the ground behind the car (I really thought they were going to take the car too, and I’m very glad they didn’t). I could have hit the alarm button at any time, but I didn’t, because they had a gun, and they were very shaky and scared, and I thought setting off the alarm would put me in more personal danger. However, if I’d hit it that second in the car, before they opened the door, it might have made a difference.
A bunch of the guys who where in the bar last night were regulars, who I see a lot. When I went back in to get Boss Daddy to call the cops, they were all hovering around me worrying, etc. Two of them had watched me walk to my car, to make sure I was safe when I left. They saw me get in my car and turned around, went back to their conversation. The guys who robbed me were 100+ feet further down the road, just out of eyesight of the bar window, so while, from the window, I appeared safe in my car, I wasn’t. I believe all the male patrons at the bar feel really guilty for not having walked me to my car. The cop who responded had just cruised by less than 10 minutes before I got robbed. Other bar patrons, also friends of mine, rolled up 5 minutes or less after it happened. I didn’t feel any less safe walking to my car than I ever do. It was just freak accident of time that I was alone, right there, in that moment, in that physical space where no one was watching. I did everything I was trained to do, growing up in an urban environment: had my keys in my hand (so I could get straight into my car with out digging for them), walked with purpose and confidence, locked the car door as soon as I was inside (well, not fast enough, but I couldn’t have been much faster), complied quickly and calmly with the robbers (didn’t argue or freak out). I was in a well lit area, right under a street light, a few dozen feet from a bar with a dozen people inside. But yes, someone probably should have walked me to my car. Still it feels more like freak circumstances that allowed it to happen, like a lightning strike. Not necessarily inevitable, but unexpected, circumstantial and somehow unavoidable.
I’ve never really been one for could have beens. In the aftermath (standing around with the cops for eternity), several people were like, “you could have been shot!” Well, yes, I mean they had a gun, and assuming it was real, I could have been shot. But I wasn’t. And honestly, I’ve heard people who have been in similar situations say how terrifying it was because in the moment they knew they could die, or be or raped or anything could happen. And I didn’t feel like that at all. I felt instantly shocked, angry and resigned. I never really felt like they were going to shoot me. They were scared and they wanted out of there quickly as much as I wanted them out of there. I don’t know. I mean, I’m not saying it wasn’t terrifying, but I think that the sense some people get that anything could have happened, or that they feel really violated is because the person robbed was acutely aware of their loss of control of the situation, complete loss of control of their life, even for a few seconds. And I just don’t feel that way. Well not today anyway, I reserve the right to change how I feel about this a dozen times until I’ve dealt with it, but right now, I don’t feel any less safe than I did yesterday. Sure there’s a sense of violation, yes I’m fucking pissed about having to replace all my shit, but mostly, man, stuff happens. I can’t really control my own life, there’s too many outside factors. I spend most my meditative time letting things go. I think I can let this go too.
I really liked my wallet. I mean, yes, it’s good I’m safe, material things are really unimportant, blah blah blah. But I really liked that wallet and it’s pretty irreplacable.
I am a little disappointed in myself on one count. I spent a lot of time laying awake last night, post robbery, thinking about how alone I was. I mean, recent break-up, just days ago, and I had this sense of horrible loneliness like there was no one I could call, because I had no one to cuddle up with in the aftermath. And honestly, I don’t think I’m that girl, that needs a man to make things better. There’s tons of people I could have called (although I actually couldn’t since the fuckers took my phone) any time of day or night. Ladybug came right out, in her PJs, to get me and stand around with me while cops blathered on endlessly and fingerprinted my car. I have plenty of people around me to take care of me. I can take care of myself and I don’t even need to because of the aforementioned people. I feel weak for having spent time being self-pitying over being single. I feel vaguely stupid that a bad situation highlighted that in my thoughts. Then again, it’s okay, I guess. I mean being broken up with is also a loss of control of the circumstances of one’s life, so it does all sort of blend together.
Now I will go re-enter numbers into my phone until I have to get dressed and go back to work again. hopefully I’ll get a nap in before it’s that time.
August 17, 2008 at 4:55 pm
I know this week has been really hard for you, and I’m just keep reading feeling worse and worse and wishing I could help you out. I just wanted to say that this, despite it being a bad experience for you, helped me and my sister out enormously I think. You’re lack of “what if” oriented fear even despite actually having one of the bad what ifs to happen to you helped springboard us into a discussion of her own anxieties and it really helped to talk through the ways to prepare and prevent any actual dangers as well as moving her towards a freedom from fear and paranoia. I just wanted to let you know that this post, even though it highlights a hard time in your life, really helped my sister get through a hard time in hers. Let me know if I can do anything to help you out, Jacyn, despite my distance.
August 17, 2008 at 10:17 pm
YAY! Claire, thank you! I’m glad some good came out of it. I’m tired and still a little freaked, but really I’m okay. I feel like I am safe because I know my community is looking out for me. I am super glad that that this helped you and your sister. 🙂