Five years ago, on Saturday the 24th of September, my life changed in ways I could never have predicted.  And though my life now, 5 years later, is amazing, the road to where I am now has been challenging.  Understatement of the year.  All in all, for the majority of the time, I am happy, healthy, newly married (in May) and ‘completely’ healed from my attack.  I have to put completely in quotation marks because I am not sure I will ever be completely over what happened.  That has been very apparent this last week.  Physically I have been a bit of a wreck.  My body seems to understand what my mind is incapable of grasping:  my attack is still stored in my cells, in the muscle memory of my physical self.  Well, crap.

On Monday I decided I needed to know exactly when DCD was being released from prison.  According to my calculations it should’ve been right around now.  He received a 6 year sentence and has to serve 85% of it, less time served at sentencing, which was 317 days.  When I put his name in the ‘who’s in jail’ web site, I got nothing.  I remembered he had used another name, looked through my files to find it, put that name in, and got the same result…not in the system.  I thought I had signed up to be notified when that happened, but, it turned out, I had not.  Crap, again.  So I called the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to find out his status.  The officer I spoke with asked for his prisoner number, which I did not have.  He asked if I was the victim.  I told him I was.  He gave me the number I was lacking and told me where he is now housed and that he would not be getting out any time soon.  He also suggested I call the Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services to find out more information about his release date.  I did this and that’s when I found out I neglected to actually sign up to be notified when he would be released.  It’s not that I am afraid he will come after me once he is released.  I simply want to know when he is out.

Life does go on, and as much as I’d love to never have had this happen, it did.  The following quote pretty much sums up how I feel about it now:


We all get to choose how we react to what happens to us.  I choose to see it as a blessing, and to share my ongoing, ever-changing story.  My hope is that I am making a “difference by being the difference.”


The following is the statement I made to the court on 25 June 2012.  My intention was to read it directly to cockroach boy, while looking at him.  Ha!  I couldn’t even look up from my paper to read it to the judge.  I was so nervous and my mouth was drier than the Sahara.  I think, in a way, that this actually helped me because it forced me to speak slowly.  Otherwise, I may have raced through just to be done with it.

I have mentioned many times how traumatized I was with every contact I had with anyone associated with this case.  The exception was a woman in the probation department.  She was kind and compassionate and helpful in ways that no one else was.  She encouraged me to be brutally honest about the effects of the attack and how my life had changed.  She told me I could talk as long as I wanted to.  She said it was important that the judge and the court hear and understand from me what I thought should happen to cockroach boy.   It was the first phone call I had with someone other than my therapist who was on my side.  Anyway, writing my statement was not easy, but this is what I came up with:

“Your Honor

The actions of the defendant have greatly affected me, and to a lesser degree, everyone in my life.  Before the attack, I was a happy, positive person:  I had a successful business; I was very physically active; I lived on an island that I loved and considered magical; I was 6 months into a new relationship with a wonderful man.  In other words, I had a fairly regular, normal life.

A little before 6 AM on 24 September 2011 all of that changed.

That Saturday morning I was engaging in my daily exercise routine of a seven mile walk when I was viciously attacked.  The attempted rape took place IN FRONT of the Hotel Del Coronado along the ocean sidewalk/path, not in some isolated portion of the island or on a dark street or under the bridge.  No, it occurred in a well-lit, populated area.  Of all the places I would have felt safest, this was one of them.

Completely unprovoked, and in the most cowardly way possible, the defendant ran up behind me and rammed both his fists into the middle of my back, and using the momentum of the rest of his body, slammed me to the sidewalk.  My telephone, which I always carried for safety, flew from my hand as my body propelled violently forward.  As I skidded along the pavement, my hips, hands and face sustained injuries.  Before I knew what was happening, he aggressively flipped me over onto my back and hooked his finger in the waistband of my skort and underwear, and I felt the terror rise within me as he ripped them off, for now I was naked from the waist down.  I kept fighting and screaming, but this did not stop him or even deter his efforts.  All I could think was, ‘there is no way I’m letting him rape me.’  I kept fighting, knowing that I was literally fighting for my life.  Then I saw his fists getting ready to punch me in the face to shut me up.  At that very moment, I heard someone yelling at him to stop, to get off of me.  He did not stop, nor did he get off of me, but it startled him enough that the expected punches did not come.  The man who was yelling got closer and closer until he was yelling in the defendant’s face, “GET OFF OF HER.”  Finally, he stopped, got off of me and ran up the sidewalk towards the street.  I immediately jumped to my feet and pulled my clothes back up.  I was later told that the man who saved me, and who I refer to as my guardian angel, was a guest at the hotel.  Instead of chasing after my attacker, he walked me into the Del, got hotel security, who then called the police.

Nine months later, I am still haunted by both the physical and psychological effects of the sexual assault.  I am in therapy and have been since a few days after the attack.  I have a strong support system but each day has had its share of challenges.

I have now experienced first-hand the roller coaster of shock to anger to depression, each phase accompanied by its own share of anxiety and fear.  Living in Coronado for 9 1/2 years prior to this vicious attack, I walked every day before dawn.  Since my attack, I still cannot walk near the Hotel Del Coronado or the beach and never walk before dawn unaccompanied.  As a result of my depression, which I am dealing with, I became suicidal; I came very close to jumping off the Coronado Bridge and might have actually done so had I not seen a friend’s car on the bridge behind me.

I now want to move away from Coronado because it no longer feels good to be here. I no longer feel safe.  I look at most men now as potential threats.  Walking 4 blocks to the store  if it is nighttime is no longer possible.  So many things have changed.  If I allowed the sadness for all these changes that are a direct result of the attack, I am not sure I would survive.  I now approach life in a very different way.

Perhaps the most starkly evident effect of all this has been my ability to work.  I am a self-employed seamstress.  I make custom home furnishings: slipcovers, window treatments, pillows bedding, anything for the home.  Since the attack, it has been very challenging to work as my concentration and focus are affected.  Jobs that would normally take several hours, now take several days, if not longer, if I am able to do them at all.  There has been a substantial loss of income, as a result.

There is no doubt in my mind that had my guardian angel not shown up when he did, the defendant would have beaten and then raped me.  No doubt at all.  In addition, there was absolutely no hesitation on his part.  He knew exactly what he was doing.  The attack was more violent than any photos or police reports, or even my own words, can convey.  He may have been on his best behavior while in jail, but that’s because he is monitored, forced to take medication and there are no women for him to attack.  Statistically, chances are the defendant will never be ‘cured.’  Even with medication compliance, the chances of another vicious assault are very high.

Given all this, I believe he deserves and I am requesting he be sentenced to the maximum time allowed under the California statute for the crime of attempted rape.  We all know he would have completed that rape given a few extra minutes.  I can tell you, without hesitation, I might not be here any longer if he had.

The 24th of September 2011 was, without a doubt, the worst day of my life.  I may have been a victim of a crime that day, but I am NOT a victim.  I WILL get through this and in the end will be a much stronger person.  You are NOT worth my life.


Tamerie Shriver”

Although, as I said at the beginning of this post, I was not able to read this directly to cockroach boy in the manner I wanted to, I did say to him while looking at him and he looking back at me, You are NOT worth my life.  And when I sat down, I asked my boyfriend if he (cockroach boy) had been looking at me the entire time.  He said, no, that he had only looked at me when I looked at him and told him he wasn’t worth my life.

Next post I’ll get into the details of exactly what happened in court and, even more interesting, what happened after, which was even more upsetting than being in court.


The original date that we were supposed to go to court, or, rather, the first fitness or readiness hearing was scheduled for the beginning of November 2011.  Then it was continued until January.  Then, because cockroach boy’s attorney still had not gotten his psyche evaluation done, it was continued, yet again, until April, then May.  All of this time waiting was taking an emotional toll on me.  I was worried that we would have an actual trial and worried that we wouldn’t, that for some reason, he’d be let out.  As I mentioned before, the D.A. did nothing but traumatize me with her dire predictions and her seemingly uncaring attitude towards me, the victim of the violent attack.  So, on 24 May 2012 another readiness/fitness hearing was scheduled.  I was so used to postponements at this point that it never occurred to me we might actually move forward in the process.

From my journal 24 May 2012:  12 noon – “He pleaded guilty, which means sentencing will be 21 June at 1:30p.  I will give my victim’s impact statement then.  I am both relieved that I won’t have to testify in a trial and pissed that we had to wait 8 fucking months for this.  Also, cockroach boy wrote me a letter the day of the attack after he was picked up by the police.  In it he expressed his egret, bla, bla, bla.  The D.A. let me read it but wouldn’t let me have a copy of it.  I will ask at the police station here, but chances are they will say no.  I wish I had never read it.  In it he said that he never meant to hurt me, that he hurt himself, too, that he knew I was terrified.  Well, la de da.  Fuck you.  And the “best” news of all is he may only get 365 days, of which he will have served 9 months by sentencing and with credit off for good behavior, he could conceivably walk out of jail that day.  Un-fucking-believable.  I am so mad.  I cannot even process it.”


I am in the process right now of again trying to get a copy of that letter he wrote to me.  I tried to get it right after the sentencing, but because he filed an appeal, the case was considered open/active and my request was denied.  Once I have it, I will do a post with his exact words.  I was hoping to have it for this post, but that didn’t happen.  Anyway, the D.A. was traumatizing me in ways she wasn’t even aware.  When she told me that he might get no time, I really lost it.  It seemed inconceivable to me that he could commit a violent crime and potentially spend no time in prison.  I realize this happens all the time, but when you are in the middle of something like that, you really cannot think clearly.  And as I’ve also said several times, my brain was not functioning properly anyway.  This was just another layer of shit heaped on an already huge pile.


And from my journal, 26 May 2012:    “I want to contact a local newsperson and offer up my story.  I am still not free to say anything I want to with regards to my experience and I am not sure how or when to approach someone.  I do feel like my victim impact statement is VERY important and that may be the basis of my video that I post on my Facebook and YouTube, etc.  My intention is to grab the attention of the greatest number of people possible so that I can get my project and my message out there.  My mission is to take sexual assault from the hidden to the light.  And that I believe, no, I know, will help countless women who haven’t had a voice or a platform.  I know it will help me, too.  

I keep thinking that not only do I want to get my brain scanned, but I would like for cockroach boy to have his done as well.  Wouldn’t it benefit everyone if he is medicated properly so that he never, ever puts anyone else through what I am going through?  I think it’s important.”  [Note- I never did get my brain scanned, let alone request that he get his done.  I was grateful that the Victim Compensation Fund was paying for my therapy and knew they wouldn’t be open to paying for an expensive brain scan.  Nor did I make a video for YouTube or Facebook.]


Now, it seemed, all I could do was wait until the sentencing hearing.  I was not doing much writing about this at the time.  I remember being so tired of the uncertainty.  I was never sure about when it would all end.  Even though we now had a date and a plea, I had no faith that we would actually go to court on 21 June.  And, as it turned out, we didn’t.  The date was postponed until 25 June.  Next post will be my victim impact statement and the story of my day in court.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I was not doing a lot of writing during this time period. I was really suffering with my ‘brain damage’ and even the simplest tasks proved beyond my ability on most days. I was doing my best to train for my upcoming half-marathon, which was to be held on 6 May 2012 at the Safari Park Wild Animal Park in Escondido, California. So the following journal entries deal mostly with that.

27 April 2012

7a As it is the lat Friday of the month, it is time for the ‘Ladies With Sexy Guns’ (I think that’s what they sometimes call it) hiking group to get together and, well, hike. This morning we are going to hike the Pine Mountain Valley Loop, or something like that. The sun is out, so it should be a beautiful day. Since I’ve been cutting back on the St John’s Wort, I think I actually feel somewhat better. At least nothing has tripped me up and brought the feelings of hopelessness and despair in the last several days.

9:30p The hike was very nice, with high altitude (6000’+), sunny, not very strenuous nor very long. But after I got home, I was exhausted. I slept for over 2 hours and had a heck of a time waking up. Apparently the altitude was more of an issue than I realized.

28 April 2012

7a Had a rather sleepless night. Good, fast walk with Mike this morning, though. Our average speed was 13:30 per mile. Not bad. Just one more week until my race. Am I ready? I have to be.

5 May 2012

6:30a My period decided to make an (unwelcome) appearance. I have not had a period for 106 days and wasn’t expecting it. It does explain my crabbiness, general bloating and the headaches, though. Bill and I are doing yoga this morning and like he said, I can simply lie there and listen to Mike’s meditation if I do not feel well. [Note–This Mike I am speaking of here is yoga teacher Mike, not be confused with my walking friend Mike.]

6 May 2012

11:55p Can’t sleep, so I thought I’d come downstairs and write a bit. I am feeling better from this morning, though I am still kind of sore. Going down the stairs is a lot harder than going up.

My time was 2 hours and 43 minutes, which works out to 12min. 44sec. miles. Not too bad. When I did the Atlanta Half Marathon 11 1/1 years ago, my time was 2 hours and 57 minutes. Quite an improvement, I think. Best of all, Bill got up with me, took me to the race and was cheering for me as I crossed the finish line.

We had to nap this afternoon and as we were lying there, I said, “I don’t understand why I am so tired.” Bill said, “Duh! You got up at 4:45a, you didn’t sleep well, you’re on your period, and you just did a half marathon. Of course you are tired.” Oh.

Perhaps I should go back upstairs and try to sleep again.

9 May 2012

6:40a I keep thinking and hoping that one of these mornings I’m going to wake up and feel great, feel like my old self. What I’d really like to wake up feeling is the way I felt when I first moved to West Hollywood in 2001. I’m not sure anymore exactly how long I held on to ‘that’ feeling, but for at least for the entire year I lived there and for probably another 6 months or so after I moved here. I think it gradually faded over time and I never realized it was going away. I’m not sure what makes me think it will ever come back AND I remain ever hopeful that it will.

My legs are still pretty sore. I think yoga yesterday was a good idea and no walking for several days to let them rest/heal is also a god idea. I found out I did even better (time-wise) on the race than I thought. I did not take into consideration the fact that it took me 2 minutes to get to the starting line. My actual time was 2 hours and 41 minutes and my pace was 12:20 per mile!


As I also mentioned in a previous post, I was awaiting the arrival of a copy of the court transcript from the sentencing hearing. I finally received that and a couple more, very interesting, things have happened around my case in the last couple of weeks. I am doing my best to get my story our in chronological order before adding too much of what I now know. I will probably have to write about them and since they really have nothing to do with my healing process, I won’t be jumping ahead of myself in any way.


From my journal, 12 January 2012…

“It is official – I have moved (FINALLY) from shock to anger.  And boy and I angry!!!!!!!!! I am so mad that it took me so long to get to this stage; that it happened to me at all; that I have felt pretty much nothing for the last 15 weeks; that we live in a society that would allow and produce people like cockroach boy; that I have been stuck on so many levels for so long; that all I did yesterday was cry; that I was unable to cry for the last 15 weeks; that we may have to go to court and have an actual trial; that his attorney will try to make this my fault (HA); that it is her job to do that to me; that I haven’t been able to walk for 15 weeks; that I got fat (okay, just a little pudgy, but I FEEL fat) because I was unable to walk; that I had to join the gym in order to be able to get any exercise; that I have been in extreme pain for at lest the last 10 weeks, maybe longer; that I am not supposed to talk about my experience because anything I say can be used against ME in a court of law; that I did nothing to incur this attack; that most people have no clue what I’ve been going through and will continue to go through for at least a little while longer; that I no longer trust people in general; that I look upon every man and teenage boy as a potential attacker; that I have been unable to work; that I even consider breaking up with Bill because of the craziness I feel; that I cannot immediately jump into my new project because I might jeopardize my case; that I no longer feel safe in Coronado; that I want to leave where I have lived for the last (almost) 10 years; and there are probably 100s more things that I am mad about, but for now, this will have to suffice.”

I actually typed this rant at the time because, as mad as I was, I knew I could never write fast enough to keep up with my thoughts.  It is almost comical, now, the things that I thought at the time.  I really had no idea of how long it would actually take me to process, deal with and get through it all.  And the thing that brought me out of shock was talking with the D.A. assigned to the case.  It completely freaked me out when she told me that we would be going to court because she had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty, that she had to prove his intent was to rape me, that she had to prove this to 12 people on a jury.   Well, I simply lost it right then on the phone with her.  I was so upset. (On the one hand, I was happy that I was finally crying, but on the other, I was better able to understand just what I was dealing with.  And it sucked.)  I thought, what do you mean you have to prove he’s guilty?  I know he’s guilty, I was there, I’m the one he brutally attacked.  And you have to prove his intention was rape?  Well, what do you think it was?  To have a tea party?  He ripped my clothes off.  Where is the doubt in that action alone?  Believe me, I understand that criminals (I use this word purposely.) are innocent until proven guilty in this country; what I don’t understand is why the alleged perpetrator is given all the rights and the victim of the crime, in this case ME, is treated as though she is the criminal and has done something wrong.   Oh, it was very eye-opening and not in a good way.  Part of what took me so long to recover was the repeated trauma I suffered when dealing with the D.A.  I always felt victimized after speaking with or meeting with her in person.  Even though she said she was on my side, I certainly never felt that.  And the truth was, she was the attorney for the city or state or whomever, she was NOT my attorney.  I didn’t have an attorney, though she was always happy to point out to me that it was my right to hire my own attorney.  So, let me get this right: I was the victim of a violent, attempted rape and if I want to be protected I need to pay money for this privilege?  I’m the one who was harmed here, not cockroach boy.  And I am not automatically protected?  See what I mean?  This is but one small example of how it went for me.

Something to keep in mind, too, is up to this point, we still had not gone to court.  His attorney kept getting a continuance, ostensibly because she (or he, I was never clear on this) hadn’t had time to get his psych evaluation done.  Okay, I also get how overworked the public defenders are, but, really, it’s not like cockroach boy was busy.  As far as I was concerned, he was having a merry old time in jail.  Maybe jail isn’t fun, but he chose to go to jail by attacking me.  He was getting fed each day, he didn’t have to work, he had television and internet privileges. Does that sound like he was suffering in jail?  I don’t think so.  And even if he was, too flipping bad.  I’ll say it again;  HE CHOSE to go there.

I will get more into this in my next post.


It is just by chance that my journal entries match up to the actual date.  This will not always be the case, but it seems silly to not post it just because it is right now.  I should also let you know that these entries are not edited, though I sure would like to rewrite a lot of it.  It’s what I was thinking and feeling at the time, so changing anything doesn’t seem quite right. Just keep in mind that it was a severely traumatized person who was writing this and I was doing my best to make sense of what had happened and what I was going through.  I so clearly did not ‘get it’ at the time.


2 November 2011

I went and joined the gym at the hospital again.  My intention was to join Hollywood Fitness, and Bill and I even went in last night so he could see it.  The deal, according to the paper, was $1 to join and $29/month for just gym use or $49 w/gym and all classes.  Sounded good.  Well, it turned out to be a bit of a scam.  They wanted first and last month and an automatic credit card withdrawal, and the guy was just so jerky.  I had to leave, so I did.  Laura had walked uptown with me and she had to run out after me.   I felt compelled to get away; I just couldn’t stay another minute.  So back to the kind-of-boring, but reliable, hospital gym I will be going.  And even though Bill and I are going to do yoga at the Cove tomorrow night, I’m still gonna go to the gym in the morning and re-acquaint myself with the stairmaster and weight machines.

After I walked down to the hospital and took care of my business there, I walked around Tidelands Park and under the bridge, up to the end of the golf course (but not on Gloiretta) and back.  I would have walked further but I was wearing flipflops and my toes started to hurt.  It has been made very clear that the loss of all the miles I logged every week walking is a huge loss to me.  Since I am unable (at this time) to get myself out there to walk and one yoga class a week isn’t nearly enough exercise, it is still imperative that I get my butt in gear, however I can.  As Susie said, I should look at it as a temporary solution while I rebuild my life.

The other thing that is abundantly clear is I have got to figure out a way to work in spite of my brain not working properly right now.  I cannot and will not let someone else dictate my life.  Yes, I am feeling out of control and, at times, like I am truly losing it.  The reality is I’m not.  It’s just my brain playing tricks on me.  So I need to get a new intention and it is, as of 5:18p, 2 November 2011:  1. To get the jobs completed that are awaiting my talents;  2. To get more jobs;  3. To continue writing each day, so that I will have a complete record of the process and my feelings about the trauma I suffered;  4. To do more with my custom fabrics;  5. To start speaking about my experience to audiences;  6. To believe in the future again;   7. To live happily ever NOW!

As I was walking this afternoon, I was listening to Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “The Power of Intention.”  It is so amazing how I ALWAYS hear exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it.  I really do have to start re-framing and stating what it is I intend, not all the negative I’ve been dwelling on.  Yes, there is no doubt there is a lot of negative and I’m not sure how else to deal with it without talking so much about it.  I also know, at some point, I’ve got to stop going over and over it.  What you resist, persists.  What you think about all day long is what manifests.  Which means changing my self-talk, my inner dialogue.  I know there must be a way to talk about it and still move past it, especially if I shift my work more towards this aspect.  I forgot to write that intention on the list above, and, truly, this is a huge, life-changing intention for me.  So here goes:  It is my intention to transform the trauma I suffered in September (and in all my life) into a new project/business of writing and speaking.  I have been wanting for so long now to change what I’m doing.  Although it came about in a tragic way, the new avenue that my life can go down has been handed to me, if not quite on a silver platter, then on the cement outside the Hotel Del.

I do have homework for Monday’s therapy.  I have to make a list of the top 10 worst and the top 10 best things in my life.  [Here I am choosing not to include those 20 things at this time.  I will come back to them at a later date.]

Laura is leaving tonight for London for a month.  I’m taking her tot he airport at 6:30p.  She’s leaving Hiccup with me for safekeeping.  Ian is staying at her house while she is gone.  She has been so ‘here’ for me during the last 5 weeks, that I’m sure I’ll miss her.  I’m envious, I suppose.  I wish, in a way, that it was me going away for a month.  With Bill, of course.

And speaking of Bill, we went to dinner at The Tavern last night.  It was good, but the menu is completely different from the tasting menu we sampled in July.  Or August, whenever that was.  And even though we hadn’t seen each other in a week, we did NOT have sex.  The fact is that every time we do now, my eyes leak, and that, apparently, has him freaked out.  Of course, it makes me feel even less desirable than I already feel.  I guess I need to tell him this.  All he really wants to do is fix everything and believe me, I wish he could.  Unfortunately, he can’t really do much besides be there for me and encourage me.  A lot of times, though, I feel like he thinks I’m not doing enough.  What he, and everyone else for that matter, cannot possibly understand is the things I’m going through are a result of the attack/trauma I suffered and I can’t help what’s happening.  There is a huge disconnect in my brain and my body and this I am unable to do anything about it right now.  It’s all going to take time.  It sucks, I know, I’m living it.  It is truly a case of no one possibly being able to understand what I am going through unless they’ve been through it themselves.  And a lot of people have all kinds of trauma happen all the time.  I guess, though, that it manifests differently for everyone, while at the same time, it’s basically the same.  I guess that doesn’t really make any sense.  I think I’m trying to say is the attack and trauma I suffered was unique to me because it happened to me and my brain and body are processing it according to my experiences.  So that means that NO ONE can really understand what I’m going through.  The physical and psychological things are common to all those who suffer a traumatic event, but they are also all different.  Round and round it goes…

All I can do is my best.  Take each day one at a time.

Probably the other person that this has affected most is Bill.  Maybe he should talk to someone as well.  He doesn’t quite know what to do and neither does anyone else.  No one that I personally know has ever had to deal with this.  Or if they did, they aren’t talking.  There is obviously a big part of me that can’t shut up about it.  I want and maybe even need everyone to know.  So until I feel like I’ve talked about it enough, I suppose I’ll go on telling my story to everyone I know and even those I don’t.



1 NOVEMBER 2011, 2012

As I was reading through my journal last night, I was/am amazed at the way I thinking and the ways in which my brain was and was not working.  I also wrote a lot more than I thought I did, especially at the beginning.  As I told my boyfriend the other day, he (and everyone else now) will learn a lot more of what was going on with me post-attack than I let on.  Part of that was not understanding what I was truly going through, part was that I didn’t want him to think I was a complete loser or nut case and part was I didn’t want to be a bother, to him or anyone.  It is so interesting how our brains work to protect us, especially in times of great trauma.  I definitely learned a whole lot more about a lot of things, including the brain, than I ever thought I would.  And the brain is quite a fascinating organ.  I will share more about this at a later date.

My post today is taken directly from my journal.  It is exactly what I was feeling and going through a year ago today.

1 November 2011

Turns out the weird feelings I’m having are all part of the process.  More symptoms are coming out.  My body and mind have, apparently, been in protection mode since the attack and I’m just starting to feel some things.  Knowing this does not make it any easier.  In fact, knowing that it will most likely get a whole lot worse before it gets better does not make me happy at all.  NOT AT ALL.  There is such a disconnect in my brain.  I did manage to go to yoga this morning.  It is about the only thing I seem capable of actually doing.

I have got to force myself to do some work.  For the first time in a while, I actually have several jobs waiting to be done.  It’s not that I don’t want to work.  I do.  I can’t seem to concentrate long enough, or well enough, to do what needs to be done.  I think the reason I was able to do the pillows the week before last is because I didn’t really have to ‘think’ about how to do them, since I’ve made about a million pillows.   The baby bumper I’m supposed to be doing is quite another story.  I even have the actual bumper to copy and I look at it and  cannot figure out how to do it.   I’m visualizing over and over making it in my mind so that I am able to make it in reality.

I talked to Bill four different times yesterday!  He even wanted to come take me to dinner, but, basically, I talked him out of it.  It’s not that I didn’t want to see him and  I know he really wanted to see me, but he was exhausted and I haven’t shaved my legs in over a week.  It seemed a better idea for him to sleep in his own bed and to, hopefully, get a good night’s sleep.  And he has an appointment with his eye doctor this morning.  So, maybe I’ll see him later today.  I guess there’s a part of me that doesn’t even want to see him at all.  It’s the part that’s doing it’s best to protect me from being hurt anymore.  I truly do not believe, though, that he will hurt me and, right now, it is such a battle going on inside me.

One thing Susie mentioned (again) yesterday was how hopeful she is for my recovery from this trauma (and all the others that are still stuck in my brain/body) because of all the deep, intense work I’ve done in the past and just how hard I’ve fought to remain alive.  And still, in spite of that, that small part of me that wants to check out early is alive and well.  Oh, joy!  Okay, not so much.  Will it ever get easier?  Will that feeling ever go away completely?  It’s not that I am really afraid that I’ll do anything, but it is so disconcerting knowing it may rear its ugly head at the most inopportune moments, throwing me into, if not actual depression, then at least into panic-mode.  It pretty much sucks.  I just want to feel happy and whole again.


Yesterday was my last session with my amazing therapist, Susie Morgan.  As much as I loved her, I hated therapy just as much, if not more.  Believe me, I know I am very fortunate to have found her and to have had the Victims Compensation Program paying for my therapy.  It was not inexpensive.  By my calculations, it cost approximately $16,000 or so.  I could never have afforded it myself.  I also know that without the therapy I would not be where I am today.

It turns out that by my returning last week to the scene of the crime, the final piece of my journey fell into place.  Susie told me yesterday that when I left her office the previous Monday she never thought I’d be able to actually do it without several more sessions of processing the fear that had such a tight grip on me.  I think it basically came down to me wanting to be finished with therapy, to wanting to finally be able to take back ‘my’ entire island and to knowing inside that I COULD do it.  I told her yesterday that I wished I had done it sooner and she told me that I did it when I was able to.  The truth is I couldn’t have done it before.  I wish I could have, but I simply was not ready.  

The last 403 days (and, yes, I did just count to be sure) have been such a roller coaster ride.  It’s not a ride I ever thought I’d be on and one I hope no one else ever has to take.  Unfortunately, that will probably not be the case.  Everyone is different and traumatic events will not be experienced the same by anyone.  The one thing that is true, though, is that without professional help, you will NOT heal.  Oh sure, you may be able to put the attack, or whatever happened, out of your mind and maybe even fool most people into thinking that you are okay.  You will want to be.  You will want to just put it behind you.  You will want to pretend that it didn’t happen or that it wasn’t so bad.  After all, you survived it, right?  You won’t be okay, though, and no amount of wishing, hoping, even praying will make it so.  It is SO important that you get into therapy.  I worked harder than I ever have in my entire life this last year and that’s why I can be sharing this with you now.  Another thing I know for certain is that you deserve to be more than just okay.  I urge you to do whatever it takes to make that a reality.

One last thing – I mentioned this before in my post about how my face has changed, that my way of describing how I looked different to myself (and to a lesser degree, to others) was that I had lost my ‘shiny.’  Well, yesterday Susie told me, as she was trying not to cry (which, of course, made me cry) that there is now a light in my eyes that she had never seen before.  My shiny is back!