As I promised when I felt safe to come back to this trauma I would share what I could. It’s a “moment” that I recently worked through in EMDR and I can now share without a trigger. I have to say that EMDR has come a long way and the process is much gentler and effective than it was 16 years ago. Here’s my experience.
I was working at the hospital and John was no longer employed there. He had left a note at my home prior to this moment that we could now be together because we no longer worked together. I didn’t anticipate this next experience to happen.
There was a celebration at the hospital in the cafeteria with a new menu and roll out of food, so I decided to venture down and have lunch. I felt safe because he wasn’t working there anymore. Like most cafeteria’s you go through the buffet style lines and walk to the cashier to pay for your food before entering the dinning area. When at the cashier line you can see the entire dinning area. As I stood there in line, which as quite long, I gazed out over the dinning area. Checking to see if there was a place to sit since there were so many people. There was a column in my way so I couldn’t see every area. As I reached the cashier closer I could peek around the column, and there he was. Sitting perfectly to be able to see the line at the cashier. I started trembling and shaking and we locked eyes.
My heart is pounding right now as I write this, but I know right now I am safe in my home with my dog and John isn’t here….so I’m pressing on.
When we locked eyes John got this sinister grin on his face, I’ll never forget it. Creepy grin of ” You see me now and I see you…are you afraid yet”. I was horrified. He lifted his right hand and made it look like a gun, pointing his index finger at me with his thumb straight up….then POW! He pretends to shoot me with his hand shaped gun. I gasped, locked up and dropped my plate. I ran out of there through the back area where you enter so I didn’t have to go past him to get out.
I walked/ran as fast as I could down that cold windowless basement hallway crying and saying out loud “Oh my God, oh my God”. My mind racing with thoughts of “He’s going to kill me. Why would he do that? He’s going to kill me.” I entered a panic attack once I got to my office and sat down in a back closet so he couldn’t find me. I called security from the phone in this closet that once served as an office. They came right away and the lead security officer was a friend and he was very helpful. He comforted me and called for the other guards to have John removed, there was no reason for him to be at the hospital. My friend “Murray” listened to my story of what had transpired for months prior to this event and he became my biggest advocate.
Murray went to the executive office and spoke with the Chief Operating Officer, they got me an executive parking pass so I could park in a secure area where the executives parked. They made note of everything and issued a letter to John telling him that he had no reason to ever be on the hospital grounds and if he returns that they would call the police. They installed a panic button under my desk. They reassured my safety and were fantastic at helping me.
Murray had a guard get my car from the parking garage and place it in the secure area. Then he drove me to the County Court House where I resided to obtain a restraining order. The order was a temporary restraining order, but I thought it was something that would protect me. As I got the TRO I was reminded that John now worked in the cafeteria of THAT county court-house. Can you believe it? This fucktard worked where I was having to legally stop him from coming around me. I couldn’t believe it.
A friend from high school was on the police force in the city I resided in, and after I told him what was happening he increased police presence on my street.
At this point I was secure at work for parking, panic button placed, security well aware of him; TRO in hand and local police increasing their rounds on my street. I felt like I was getting somewhere. I prayed for all of this to scare him enough to stay away from me and to just vanish.
A TRO is a piece of paper…A PIECE OF PAPER TO PROTECT MY LIFE! It was a good start legally for what was going to happen down the road, but pieces of paper don’t stop a bullet, a hand coming at you or any other physical assaults. IT’S A PIECE OF PAPER…USELESS! So I called Kojak and he came over and helped me order and get a highly effective security system installed in my home. Panic buttons in 3 rooms, every window and door was activated. I could have obtained motion sensors in my house, but with my son, a little boy, who wanders in his sleep that wasn’t a good option. It was a hefty financial burden, but money was needed for protection. Then Kojak and I called my attorney, who in turn wrote a letter to John for a “cease & desist” all contact per the TRO.
Kojak gave me pointers on leaving my home and traveling. I no longer took the same routes to and from work and my son’s school. Use different stores each time. Carry my cars key-fob with my thumb on the panic alarm and keys pointing out between each finger as a weapon when walking to and from my car. Taught me how to watch for someone following me as I drove. Taught me to be vigilant of my surroundings.
You’d think with all of this I would be able to sleep, calm down and feel safe. This is when I became “hyper-vigilant” and my world of sleep no longer existed. I paced through my house 6-10 times per night checking on my son and windows and doors and security system activation. This became my new normal and it has stuck with me for 16 years.
I won’t be doing EMDR again for another couple of weeks. The process takes its toll on me and I have to keep processing the trauma’s slowly. I’ve stayed away a bit from blogging because I’m so afraid of getting triggered. I sometimes feel like blogging can be a task on my mind that causes me more anxiety. I don’t want my readers to fall away as I know there are many who have appreciated these stories for their own healing. I’m doing my best. I’m plowing/pushing through as I can.
Right now the evil forces of negative energy has been attacking me recently, through my own experiences, my oldest son, my husband, my father and sister. This evil doesn’t want me to heal, it wants to suppress me and keep me down. It attacks my family which affects me. God is bigger than these evil enemy forces and I trust in Him. He has my back and I know I will come out of this a better version of myself, His strength is in me and I will be a testament to His love for us.
Photo credit: Jeff Garner