This daunting image is what it felt like after John was convicted and mom died. I felt captured in mid-air leaving one nightmare and entering another. Full of uncontrollable fear. I had nowhere to go, nowhere to run and no safety net to catch me. What’s even more symbolic of this picture, is it happened 9 days after his sentence, 9/11 was felt so deep down inside me this moment resonated with me and I couldn’t get it out of my head.
For years I have had dreams of falling from a tall building or cliff, wide awake feeling the crisis of the moment all the way down, and right before I hit the ground I wake up. This is a recurrent dream for me and I’ve had it since I was a pre-teen. This is how I’ve felt since I last posted about this douche bag. Over the past week I have kept feeling like something is about to happen. Something bad, maybe an anniversary or birthday; it didn’t hit me until today. January 30, 2002 was the night I was attacked at my home.
My subconsciousness knew this was the next chapter of John, hell I even knew it but couldn’t come to writing about it. Yet this moment has been gnawing at me and this anniversary is not one to celebrate. The longer I ignore this demon gnawing at me the more I will crawl into my hole. So, I’m taking my jump by choice, I’m jumping into the next round of my story and it is my choice to do so. Praying this is a healing moment.
From August 2001 until January, 30, 2002; I lived in a cave. I didn’t go places, I shut myself off from everyone, broke up with a guy I was dating and I lived in constant fear. John wasn’t put in prison, there was still nothing protecting me. I still woke up 4-6 times per night checking and re checking every door and window in the house. Kept my porch lights on, alarm armed and my gun within quick reach. I even had a knife hidden between my mattress set. My dog was a wolf hybrid and she was a badass and very protective. I got a job that was 45 miles away from my home, I left medicine as a nurse and went into the mortgage industry. I felt that I needed to change my career so he couldn’t find me again, driving to a from places was different every day and I read every book I could to learn more about stalking and the effects.
On the day of January 30th, I went to work and my son was staying with his father that night, we had a set schedule of when he would be with his dad. On those nights I would work late, I dove into my work so I didn’t have to be at home alone. When I got home and pulled into my driveway it was about 9:30 pm and obviously dark outside. I noticed immediately that the side gate to my backyard was open and I immediately thought only about my dog. What if she got out, how will I find her, she had a doggie door she could use. I decided to go through the gate and call for her, because then if she was home she would come through the doggie door and meet me in the backyard. It’s a pitch black area, no lights on this side of the house, as I entered through the gate I yelled for her. Then out of nowhere I hear “Hello Katy” and I’m immediately hit in the forehead with a large object. I know I lost consciousness because I woke up face down in the dirt with someone sitting on my back with a rope around my neck. Fuck I’m having flashbacks typing this, I’m shaking.
The fight or flight in me kicked in immediately and I started fighting. Trying to grab at his hands, but he had gloves on and a Carthartt canvas feeling coat. The rope was really thin and I couldn’t get my fingers between it and my throat. I flailed around the best I could and then I realized my car keys were stabbing me in the leg and I grabbed for them. I had a key fob with an alarm and that car alarm was loud as hell and I managed to push the alarm button. Then he was gone. He took off and I don’t know which way he went, when I realized he was off of me I got up and ran to my door and got in, pushed the house alarm panic button and locked myself in the bathroom with the phone. I coward to the floor in fetal position calling 911 and what felt to be hours was merely minutes before a I heard sirens and a female voice at the bathroom door. She told me who she was and it was safe to come out. I came out to my home full of police officers and flashlights and questions coming at me. I was coughing because my throat was swelling up from the strangulation, I had blood all over my hands and didn’t know here it was coming from, I couldn’t breathe through my nose and I was covered in dirt with rips in my blouse and holes in the knees of my slacks, and I was missing a shoe. I kept asking for my dog, where the fuck is my dog? A lady officer told me she was asleep on my bed, breathing but she wouldn’t wake up. I ran to her and cried and was dropping blood off my face onto her and couldn’t comprehend shit.
They called for an ambulance to take me to the hospital, animal control took my dog to get checked out at a vet and I couldn’t stop shaking. I shook like I had hypothermia, I felt paralyzed and confused. The emergency room doctor looked me over, took x-rays of my throat and CT of my head and nose. Gave me one hell of a sedative to calm me down and watched over me for hours. Meanwhile I had this detective, a woman, who was there to ask me questions. I explained over and over what transpired. It was fresh in my head, and I kept telling myself “you have to keep remembering, close your eyes, keep the imprint in your mind”. I remember the doctor giving me a steroid for the swelling in my throat, a narcotic for pain and the sedative all in my system. I was at that moment just trying to piece things together, all these drugs and I couldn’t keep anything straight.
Once the hospital released me the detective took me to the police department. Took me into an interrogation room with mirrored windows and a camera. Then proceeded to ask me more of the same questions. I kept relaying to her about the stalker, kept telling her to go find John. I felt like she just wouldn’t listen. I got very frustrated and upset and demanded to see the lead detective that helped with John in the first place and she kept saying “He’s not on duty, I am”. After telling her my story and what happened, she said I couldn’t go home because the police were processing the scene and would be there all night. I had to stay at a neighbor’s house. My sister lived across the street and when the officers originally went over there to tell her what had happened, she was high or drunk and told them she just didn’t have time to deal with any of it. Yeah, my own sister, the self-absorbed trained narcissist just couldn’t deal with it. So I stayed at the neighbors. I laid on their couch, I tried to sleep but seriously who was I kidding. I couldn’t sleep.
The next day I went home, called the vet and went to pick up my dog. She had been sedated with a hotdog laced with an animal sedative. I called my dad Clint and he was on his way to my house, he was 5 hours away. My son stayed with his father. I just laid in my bed, waiting….
The detective called me the next day and asked if I had any ideas of who would want to hurt me. I busted out laughing. “Are you fucking kidding me? Do you not remember me telling you over and over about John? Did you find him, did you interview him?” Her response took this trauma to a whole new level, “No we didn’t, we felt that if we came to him about you it would reopen his obsession with you.” UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE! She asked if she could call my psychologist to see if maybe she could understand better what I’ve been through with the stalker. Weird ass question, but okay, please go for it. I had an appointment with Madeline the next day because of this attack, maybe she could shine some light on me about this detective and what the fuck she is doing. Madeline trained Police Officers on this type of violence and the victims.
That night my dad was with me shaking his head in shock, then told me he was going to run an errand and would be back so I wasn’t alone for long. 5 hours later Clint stumbled into my house, so drunk he couldn’t even speak. Good ol’ dad went and got drunk, that was his coping mechanism and his way of helping me.
My support system, non-existent. Sister didn’t want to be bothered and didn’t even come to check on me once, because she was headed to Mexico for a vacation. Dad was drunk the whole time. My ex-husband was threatening to get a court order to take my son away (once again) on the grounds of an unsafe home. I had no friendships because I cut them all off during my cave hibernation. I was so very alone there were no words to explain how alone I was. I went to see Madeline that next day, she told me that the detective hinted around that she thought I did this to myself. It “Just seemed weird that I was able to get away so easily. That based on her experience she’d never seen anything like it before.”
If you’re sitting there with your mouth wide open and shaking your head, yeah, that just happened. Madeline knew me better than that, she knew I was telling the truth. I’m still not sure how I hit myself over the head and wrapped a “shoestring” around my neck and strangled myself. Not sure how I broke my nose. Really not sure how I could have sedated my dog while I was at work for 12 hours and she was still sedated when I got home. Apparently according to Inspector Gadget, I did this to myself and she refused to further investigate.
At that very moment I was crying so hard in Madeline’s office I couldn’t breathe. I hyperventilated and told her I was just going to kill myself. Fuck it. Nobody cares, everyone around me is fucked in the head, I’m scared as hell and I will not live like this any longer. My .38 would have been my best choice, hollow point bullets, blow my fucking head off.
Madeline being the badass psychologist she is, immediately got me admitted into a behavioral health hospital for a full workup. She even drove me there. She called my father and told him to go home, that I was admitted and didn’t want anyone to know where to find me. She told him his behavior did more harm than good. She arranged for my dog to be looked after by neighbors. She also called the detective and informed her that her disbelief in my attack was destructive, unprofessional and would be reported to the Chief.
I was finally in a safe place. Getting real help. Being cared for. To this day, I can’t wear a scarf, no tight necklaces or fashionable “chokers” and I can’t be grabbed from behind. My little boy now likes to ride on my back, and I have to remind him each time not to grab tightly around my neck and I have to remind myself, it’s just my little boy.