Violence Comes Home

 

By Louise Ure

 

I’m no stranger to violence. I’ve found dead bodies. I’ve seen guns and knives drawn. Bar fights. Fatal car crashes. A rape in progress.

But I’d never seen an attempted murder until two weeks ago.

It was 6:30 on a Sunday night. Still broad daylight in my quiet residential neighborhood in San Francisco. My young friend, Maya, and I were sitting in the living room having a glass of wine. I heard two loud bangs of metal on metal – not the kind of thing that sounded like either a car crash or a home repair – and glanced out my third floor window to the street below.

Four white men in their mid-20’s circled a black Dodge 4 X 4 truck parked in front of my house. Two of them held black metal bars three or four feet long and swung them with full force against the knees, shins and arms of the other two.

One young man, disabled by the blows to his legs, got wedged in the gutter between the curb and the back tire of the truck and was unable to move. They struck down with overhand blows to his head – again and again and again — cracking black metal again his skull. His teeth littered the sidewalk. Blood ran down the driveway.

Maya dialed 911 and handed me the phone.

“What do they look like?” the operator said. “How tall? What’s he wearing? Is that assailant Number One or Number Two?”

The picture was unfolding in front of me and yet I know I was unclear in my description. How could I tell their height from three floors up? Based on where their shoulders were next to the truck? “Number One is about six feet. Number Two is a little shorter.”

“What’s Number One wearing?”

“Oh, God, they’re killing him.” I couldn’t take my eyes away from the weapons — the metal poles. I knew exactly what they looked like. I could describe them in my sleep. But apparel? My eyes had skipped right past their clothes. I think Number One had a blue and white striped t-shirt on. But maybe that was Number Two.

“Hey, I see you! I’ve called the cops!” I yelled out the window. The striped t-shirt guy looked up at me in the window then turned back and smashed the metal bar down one more time on the man’s face.

I heard sirens in the distance and apparently so did the bad guys. They took off around the corner on foot. Slowly. Lazily. Just out for a stroll, folks. They took the metal poles with them. How do you disguise those as part of a Sunday afternoon walk in the Richmond?

I tried to memorize everything. The truck’s license plate (although why that would be important is beyond me, the truck was still sitting there, the victim stuck beneath the tire when the police arrived and it turns out it was the victim’s truck anyway), Number Two’s hairstyle (blond, below the ears and shaggy), the high Slavic cheekbones on assailant Number One, the limping path the second victim had taken to the south as he wrapped a sweatshirt around his head to staunch or hide the bleeding and disappear before the cops arrived.

We may write about crime and murder, but as much as we try to imbue our work with verisimilitude, I have never read any crime fiction that could completely replicate the ferocity and time-freezing horror of actually watching a murder occur. Yes, time stands still. But so does rational thinking and response. Breathing is impossible. Skills we thought we could count on vanish. The civilized world as we know it disappears.

“Russian gangs,” the female officer told me three hours later as they finished the investigation and took down the crime scene tape. “And the victims aren’t talking.”

Mine is a multicultural neighborhood, with lots of Chinese, Vietnamese and Russian immigrants pretty much cheek-by-jowl with fairly upscale Caucasian residents. There’s a huge Russian Orthodox church just a couple of blocks away, but I hadn’t realized the power and presence of the Russian mafia and gangs within the community.

It stunned me two days later to realize that I’d had my cell phone right there in my lap and never once thought to take a photo of any of this as the attack continued or the assailants ran away. Maybe it’s a generational thing; maybe a younger witness would automatically have grabbed the camera to record the moment for YouTube or Channel 7 News posterity. Or maybe it’s part of the frozen-moment of horror, when I couldn’t seem to take action with either my words or my limbs.

A detective called Friday night asking for clarification and more details than I’d given in my shaky-hands statement. Both victims are still alive, although the one pinned beneath the wheel may not make it. They’ve got the two attackers. There may have been a gun involved as well.

“Will you testify at the trial?” he asked. You bet. Although I wish I’d had the quick-wittedness and sure-handiness I would have given one of my protagonists and grabbed the cell phone camera rather than rely on my memory. I wish I had the courage and physical prowess I would have given her: she would have come up with a way to thwart the bad guys… to stop the beating…to track them to their lair…to break up the Russian gang.

I may write about murder all day, but it’s different when it shows up on your own doorstep. In broad daylight. On a quiet Sunday afternoon in San Francisco.

How about you guys? Has violence ever come home for you?

 

 

๏ปฟ

48 thoughts on “Violence Comes Home

  1. Maribeth

    So much for a relaxing glass of wine!
    I think in your case it took your mind a bit to decide whether this was reality or author’s reality. Minds do what they’re programmed to do and I’ll bet you never take a picture in the middle of a flow.
    Watch your back because gangs are nothing to mess with (as you’ve witnessed firsthand) and they are more dangerous than most people realize.
    You’ve certainly had some year already! God bless.

    Giggles and Guns

    Reply
  2. Shizuka

    You called immediately, yelled to try to stop these guys, and you’re willing to testify.
    That’s more quick-witted and brave than most people would’ve been.

    I’m freaked out just imagining this.
    The only violence I’ve seen (and experienced) are a few fights in high school and on the street.

    Reply
  3. Robert Gregory Browne

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    The closest I’ve ever come to seeing violence in action was when I saw a Volkswagen van tear around a corner in Westwood and roll several times before winding up on the sidewalk. Its driver was thrown from the window and had blood running down his back.

    Afterwards, my wife and I both talked about how that van had rolled across the street in sloooooow motion.

    Shock, I assume.

    But that’s certainly not even close to seeing someone murdered.

    Wow.

    Just wow.

    Reply
  4. Louise Ure

    Maribeth and RGB, you’re both right. There was an unreal quality to all of it. In slow motion like swimming in molasses.

    Quick-witted? Brave? Heroic, Shizuka and Ms C? Hardly. More like frozen.

    I hear you, JD.

    Reply
  5. Sandy

    As a teacher in a public high school, I, a younger version of me, on more than one occasion broke up fights between kids. Obviously, this was not the same as murder; but I clearly remember sensing being in the presence of something that wasn’t human. An energy or force was emitted and encircled the raging adolescents. A vacancy in their eyes, a rigidity of their faces, a blotchiness of their skin, a feral smell said they were unreachable in their different universe.

    Reply
  6. Becky LeJeune

    I have been in a situation where I did not think to use my cell phone. I was still in my car, with it on, and didn’t even think to follow the person. In fact, idiot child that I was, in my shock I got out of my car and went into work, walking through the empty parking lot, before the man had left the lot himself. It wasn’t violence, but it was a violation and I found it highly disturbing.

    When I got into work, I called the police and gave a description of the man and his old blue van. They called back twice to ask for more details when they thought they’d found him. In the end, they never did find the guy and I’m sure that he’s followed other girls to work during the early morning hours since then, or even peeked in their windows, possibly even broken into their homes and done much worse than he did to me. And I really hate myself, a graduate with a criminal justice degree who always said she would be the best witness, for not being able to give enough information, not even a license plate, that the cops could find him.

    Reply
  7. kit

    Take a self-defense course from the meanest, orniest,coldest,most low-life SOB that you can…because you can’t go back, you can only go forward.

    You did well, and I’m worried about you, now.
    the minute you stepped in, you became a part of this, not intentionally..but be safe.

    Reply
  8. Louise Ure

    Sandy, your description is so vivid. It is like another universe.

    Becky, that’s a scary situation. I would probably have done the same things you did … and then wondered afterward about my choices.

    You’re right, Kit. I’m going to take a few extra precautions in the days ahead.

    Reply
  9. Fran

    Holy. Shit.

    I’m so proud of you for stepping in that my heart is bursting! Not everyone would, you know. And I know you’ll be hyper-vigilant in the upcoming days. Russian mafia, who knew?

    Reply
  10. Judy Wirzberger

    Iโ€™m no stranger to violence. Iโ€™ve found dead bodies. Iโ€™ve seen guns and knives drawn. Bar fights. Fatal car crashes. A rape in progress. — where have you been in your lifetime woman.

    I’ve seen burley men strike at bees, women scream and scurry from rodents, and an innocent child step on an ant. Once I thought I saw a dead body, but it was just Aunt Sophie passed out on the sidewalk from hard liquor. (I screamed and ran inside – so much for thinking I was Nancy Drew).

    Give me the peaceful life – I’ll take murder and mayhem on the pages of a book.

    Reply
  11. Louise Ure

    Fran, who could not step in with that kind of horror right in front of you? And many, many of my neighbors responded as well. I’m so glad that none of us were right there on the sidewalk when the violence started, but at least six of my neighbors called the police.

    Judy, your so-called peaceful life makes me laugh.

    Reply
  12. Tammy Cravit

    When I became a rape crisis counselor, one of the things we were taught was to be vigilant for what the instructor called "vicarious traumatization", the emotional trauma that comes from bearing witness to the violence we saw in our work. Now, working as a paralegal in the arena of foster care, I continue to have to be vigilant to make sure the things I see in my job don’t haunt my nightmares. It’s hard sometimes, when you have to look at crime scene photos of the terrible things people do to their children, or when you have to read the report of the autopsy of a child who died decades too early. And it’s hard when you watch two guys get the snot beaten out of them in front of your apartment on a Sunday night. Louise, please take good emotional care of yourself — that kind of vicarious traumatization is the last thing you need.

    I’ve experienced violence up-close and personal a few times — I was raped as a pre-teen, and I once got between a friend of mine and her abusive boyfriend. But such events have been blessedly few and far between in my life.

    I think the scariest brush with violence I’ve ever had was the one that I didn’t even know about until afterward. When I lived in Chicago, I went to the grocery store up the street one night to pick up some milk and popcorn. I lived in a medium-rise apartment on a fairly well-lit, busy street, and even though I was single, I didn’t think anything about walking around at night. It was perhaps 9:30 when I passed the schoolyard up the block, milk and popcorn in hand, and I made it home without incident. The next day, I read in the paper that another woman walking past the same schoolyard just five minutes later was dragged into an alley and gang-raped at knife-point. I remember feeling all the blood rain out of my face, and I remember that I dropped the newspaper on the floor, ran to my bathroom, and threw up.

    I moved to California three months later, and I enacted the following rule for myself: Should I ever feel the need to carry a weapon in order to feel safe in my neighborhood, it’s time to move.

    Reply
  13. Allison Davis

    I am in New Orleans now and two Februaries ago, I was by myself in the house and heard glass breaking. I woke wondering what happened at my neighbors. it was about 3 a.m. I tried to turn on a light and it didn’t work. I looked across my bed and into the back family room. A hand poked through a pane on my back door looking for the knob. i realized that the glass breaking was a fist through the pane, glass was splattered all over my family room and this guy was trying to break in. I couldn’t see his face but I’ll never forget his arm. I got up to get the telephone and it was dead. No lights, no telephone. I had to cross in front of him to get my cell, and then realized that I also needed my key to get out the front door. In New Orleans, you have key locks on both sides of the door so some idiot can’t break your window and open the door. When I walked in front of the guy, I spoke to him none too softly about his progeny, his mama and whatever other invective I could think of. At that moment, I heard my neighbor Ms. Fannie calling my name "Allison" really loud and her little dog was barking. He apprently heard the glass and commotion and woke her up.

    I got the key and my cell and dialed "911" on the cell, and it worked like a charm. I ran out my front door and into Ms. Fannie’s arms — she had her door open on her porch, and took me in. "Oh, Chile," she said, "let’s pray to Jesus that we are safe." That’s how Ms Fannie is. I’ve watched basketball with her, her favorite sport, and she said says things like, "did you see the hand of God help that boy make that basket?" All you can say is "Yes, Ms. Fannie."

    Ms. Fannie had seen the burglar take off from around the back of my house, hop over her fence and get on a bicycle and ride away. The cops came quickly and after we gave them the best discription we could, one car when after them. then the crime lab showed up. Two gorgeous women. The cop shook his head, "they came ridiculously fast." They didn’t find much. The sweatshirt he had around his hand when he broke the window, a crumpled cigarette pack, but no dna, no prints that were any good (door knobs are not good for prints). The dectectives followed up after that, but the guy got away with it.

    He had hit a big switch that we put in post Katrina that turns off the electricity (and phone) and thought no one was in the house. A friend came the next morning and put in a new glass pane, put a lock on the switch and put up some bars on the back windows (he wouldn’t let me pay him for it, that’s New Orleans).

    But ever since, I look warily towards that back door and every once in a while, especially if I am alone in the house, I wander from door to door making sure that things are locked up tight. I also always now rent a car and park it in the driveway and have several more lights on in the back. While I wasn’t immediately fearful during the crime, afterwards (when everything was safe) I was terrified.

    Louise, what you saw was horrible — you’ll need to process it some (like writing the blog about it!) to purge it from you. The gripping fear is paralyzing.

    Reply
  14. Barbie

    I’ve seen violence inside my home, a lot of it for a while. Outside of it, I haven’t really *seen* it. But when I was 6 or 7, a woman in my building killed her maid, stabbed her 8 times. I was friends with her daughter. I was in and out of her apartment ALL the time. And she was SO nice. I was shocked that someone who was just nice could do such thing. I think about her daughter once in a while, and wonder what happened to her.

    Louise, what a life you have. My first instinct would have been grabbing the phone and recording it, but, then, I’m a kid. You did the right thing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  15. Barbie

    Tammy, I admire you for speaking up and taking what happened to you to help others. That’s really brave, right there and very strong ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  16. pari noskin taichert

    I’ve seen violence against women — men dragging them out of a car, yelling at them, hitting — and have stepped in. Usually it’s been with other people though. I don’t know what I’d do if I were totally alone in that situation and if there weren’t others at least around.

    I have to say that that kind of horror makes me physically ill when I see it. Sick to my stomach at man’s inhumanity to man.

    But what you write about writing these things — as opposed to experiencing them — is true. Sometimes I think about my friend’s sister who was murdered, my cousin who was murdered, and nothing can touch what I feel about those senseless deaths.

    But their unresolved murders do spur me to create a world where justice is truly served.

    Reply
  17. Louise Ure

    Those are three heart-breaking posts just above.

    Tammy, you have seen so much. "Vicarious traumatization," indeed. It’s a real thing.

    Allison, that’s a horrid and scary story. I think you’re much braver than I.

    And Barbie? Any post that starts with the phrase "I’ve seen violence inside my home, a lot of it for a while" is guaranteed to break my heart.

    Reply
  18. NMB

    The Russian mafia is a serious force in San Francisco, Louise. It has been for years. They are a crazy fearless brutal bunch of guys. Scarier than the black, Latino, Israeli, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and Vietnamese gangs rolled into one. ALL of the gangs respect the Russian dudes. You saw why. You BET the victims aren’t talking. There is a name. The name of the head of the Russian gang in SF. People know the name but NO ONE dares to speak it out loud. It is like that. This isn’t fiction. It’s real, Louise. I would ask the police if there were a way that they could take your statement or some kind of deposition so that you would not have to show up in court. Identify the dudes from a line up or photos. Just for your own peace of mind. But I really wouldn’t worry, too much. The perps know where you live but that’s not a big deal.. They will go to jail and probably be killed there or be killed by the gang if they don’t go to jail. They are small potatoes, enforcers. The big guys aren’t interested in you. There isn’t anything you can say that can touch them.

    Reply
  19. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    Oh, My God, Louise! I read your blog with a growing sense of horror. I’m absolutely shocked by what you described. I’ve never encountered violence like that. And, even as I wrote about a fictional Russian mafia in San Francisco in my second book, I never encountered any real evidence of their existance. I was told many times that it was mostly Asian gangs in SF.
    I’m sorry you had to witness this. The closest thing that happened to me was when I witnessed a car crash that killed three people. I had post traumatic stress syndrome for a year after that. You should be aware of that, Louise…you should check with a doctor at some point. It crept up on me. Take care of yourself. I’ll see you tonight.

    Reply
  20. Alexandra Sokoloff

    Jesus, Louise, I’m SO sorry you had to see that, even though you obviously were there specifically to help.

    But I wouldn’t have wished it.

    I nearly walked into the middle of a High Noon shootout between cops and armed robbers on Telegraph Ave. in Berkeley. That was WEIRD – even as I dropped to a crouch against the nearest wall, I have been on so many film sets it took forever for it to sink in for me that it was real, no cameras, no extras, no booms.

    I’ve had to extricate myself from numerous attempts of violence against myself, too – unforgivable, senseless price of being an independent woman.

    Reply
  21. toni mcgee causey

    Violence against me? yes.
    Violence where I was a witness? yes.

    It’s always shocking how very different you react from what you’d imagine you’d do. Practicing a reaction, though, helps. Self-defense, escape routes, knowing where to run, being aware of your surroundings–every little bit could make the difference between being a victim and surviving.

    Reply
  22. MJ

    Take care of yourself – that’s a sickening experience with genuinely bad guys.

    I’ve been fortunate – haven’t witnessed anything but I do know that sickening slow motion feeling well from being rammed at 75 mph on the highway (someone drunk or on drugs racing up an on ramp and running after hitting). It was amazing how long spinning and hitting other cars felt – long enough to think that "oh dear, this is how bad things happen" and that I didn’t want to die, but also didn’t want a closed head injury, and was hoping I wouldn’t go off the highway and head-on into a tree in the landscaping 20 feet below. It was days later that I started to get really sick thinking about how close I came to the other side of the veil.

    I used to be stupid and walk around my campus late at night . Never bothered. Then a few years later 10+ violent rapes occurred to women walking alone after night – the rapist would punch them in the head so hard they’d be out cold and some didn’t quite know what had happened to them at all. Not enough warning to use mace, a gun, a cell phone… That cured me of walking in areas like that at night.

    Reply
  23. Mikaela

    Well… No. At least not so far. Or wait. Someone was murdered a couple of streets away from my mum’s house. Which is in a nice suburb. Very calm. Surprisingly since we suspect that one of the neighbors might be a Russian mobster. Either dead or in jail….

    Reply
  24. Tammy Cravit

    Barbie, thanks for your compliment, though I don’t consider speaking out about the violence I’ve seen and experienced particularly brave. Perhaps I should…but I don’t. I just consider it part of my responsibility as a human being, to speak the truth about what I’ve experienced, to strive to commit "g’milut chasadim" (a Hebrew expression, meaning roughly "acts of loving kindness"), to try to leave the world just a little bit better for my presence in it. And I sense that Louise, and most of the people who have commented on this post, share that sense of responsibility.

    Louise, I second Stephen’s advice: PTSD is pernicious, and it sneaks in there before you’re even aware of its presence. By the time you sense that it’s gained a foothold, it’s really already set up a beachhead and machine gun nests. Please take good care of yourself.

    And I second Alex’s comment about the "unforgivable, senseless price of being an independent woman" – though I think the price of not being an independent woman is far steeper in many cases.

    Reply
  25. Louise Ure

    NMB, you sound like you know what you’re talking about.

    Stephen, I’m not sure I’m ready to read about your Russian gangs.

    And Alex, I know what you mean about it being so unreal that it feels like a film.

    Reply
  26. Louise Ure

    Toni, your vigilance keeps you strong and safe. That doesn’t surprise me about you.

    MJ, what a horrid slow-motion crash! God, that must have been scary.

    Mikeala, we our joined in our violence with the Russian angle. Not a good sign.

    Reply
  27. Louise Ure

    I’ve got a lot of emotional triggers to watch for right now, Tammy. I’ll add PTSD to the list.

    Off to LA now. Bruce’s film buddies down there are hosting their own memorial. I’ll raise another glass to him and relish their stories and memories.

    Reply
  28. Tom

    The pile of rags in the middle of Seventh Street had a face, and it was bleeding. We picked him up and got him to this brother’s house, because he didn’t have insurance for a hospital visit.

    Met a nice grandmotherly woman years ago when I was in a new city looking for a job. A week later her estranged husband stabbed her to death in the parking lot across the street from the factory.

    We were watching tv news one night, and a picture on-screen looked oddly like a former colleague, but the newscaster was saying a young woman who worked at The WB had gone missing from her apartment, so that couldn’t be . . . but it was.

    Take veryveryvery good care of yourself, Louise. There’s more than one kind of professional help to be considered at times like this.

    Reply
  29. Louise Ure

    I agree with Beren, Tom. Those should be three books. But I love the fact that you stopped to help the man on 7th.

    And Barbie, there’s lots of kind of selflessness and bravery. You’ve got it, too. You’re still here.

    Reply
  30. Berenmind

    Louise. Give Bruce a silent udden udden zoom zoom and a hug from me at the memorial. Be thinkin’ about ya.

    ***schmock***

    Reply
  31. BCB

    Holy guacamole, Louise! We just can’t leave you alone for a minute, can we? Seriously, what a horrible thing to experience. I know it sounds heartless to say this, but I truly hope the Russian mob decides those two thugs are expendable and not worth the effort of trying to keep them from justice. Please watch your back.

    I was in a gas station convenience store several years back when one guy approached another guy in the checkout line and said he remembered him from Central Prison. The second guy denied it and tried to avoid the fight, but you could tell there was some really bad history there. Tension and testosterone really can be palpable. I learned that guys don’t talk while they’re fighting and that convenience stores are very small and that it’s almost impossible to predict (and avoid) the path of a fight that isn’t choreographed. Also, fists hitting flesh make a sound that is sickening. A couple bystanders got knocked down during the fight and it was sheer dumb luck I wasn’t one of them. I have no doubt that if they’d had weapons, one or both of those guys would have died. Both of them fled the scene before the cops arrived.

    I tend to be calm and level-headed during a crisis. But once it’s over? Total meltdown.

    Louise, I hope tonight’s memorial is a celebration filled with happy memories and love.

    Reply
  32. Stephanie

    It’s easy to get jaded watching and reading about violence, but when it really intrudes in our lives like that, it’s such a shock. A jolt of reality to wake us up.

    My own experiences with violence have been crimes against my home rather than against my person. I live out in the middle of nowhere in Indiana (literally with corn and bean fields on all four sides of my house) and twice we’ve had our home broken into. Both times probably by meth addicts looking for fast money, according to the police. The first time nothing was stolen. The second time I lost all my Native American and heirloom jewelry, a pillowcase, a bottle of whiskey, and a bag of breath mints. That same day a neighbor down the road had a shotgun and makeup stolen. I’ve always thought there was a story in there somewhere.

    But the truth is, I started looking over my shoulder before going into the house. I checked the locks more frequently. My cat distrusts strangers even more. And it really pissed me off to think of those guys going through my underwear drawer.

    The sense of violation fades with time, but I’ll never get back my grandmother’s engagement ring. And my personal security is shaken just a little.

    Reply
  33. A Reader

    OK. That’s IT, damnit !! I have been thinking about this ever since I read it and if I ever write a noir book I am sooooo stealing Tom’s first paragraph in his comment. This is fair plagiarism warning. (No fear…..I can’t write for shit…..but I am still diggin’ that "pile of rags….had a face…..it was bleeding" opener.) Man. Took me by surprise. All of the paragraphs. I would READ those ‘books’ !!

    Reply
  34. Louise Ure

    BCB, I don’t want to picture you in the middle of that fight.

    And Stephanie, I can understand the pillow case. But breath mints?

    Reader, I’m with you. That’s a killer opening.

    And thanks Susan. Off to the affair now.

    Reply
  35. Tom

    Ummm, very kind of you, A Reader. But let Louise’s knack for brevity with intensity inspire you (as it does me), and see what you can do on your own.

    Stephanie, I’m sorry to hear about the burglaries. Our garage was pillaged about a year ago. It’s hard even now to have to sort through things out there. I always wonder what else will turn out to be gone.

    LU, we’ll hoist a few ginger beers in Long Beach for Bruce tonight.

    Reply
  36. Susan Shea

    Uh, Louise. your account scared me to death. Witnessing someone’s pain buckles my knees and makes me want to throw up. I’ve seen violence, but not on this scale. I have an active imagination, though, so I can drive myself into all out fear in a New York minute. I do daydream about what I’d do in a carjack situation, or if someone tried to break in. I’m always resourceful in my head. But for real? I remember calling the cops when a kid in a hoodie rang my doorbell at 3 a.m. and we peered at each other, nose to nose, through the glass. "A person, a person at my door, a person trying to get in. Send someone, now…" Blabber, blabber. So much for the cool person in my dreams.

    Stay safe, dear friend.

    Reply
  37. A Reader

    Tom. Take the compliments.

    I have ALWAYS been inspired by Louise Ure. Brevity with intensity…..AND sensitivity. AND intelligence…..AND intrigue…….I better not keep on……gets embarrassing

    I was kidding about stealing……..I am a reader….never a writer……that’s YOUR jobs!!!! Mwahahahahaha.

    Now sit down and start that dark book that you already have the opener for…….give the Murderati Blog a credit in your acknowledgement

    Reply
  38. mary lynn

    Oh, Louise, I’m glad you had a friend and a phone. And may I personally testify to the benefits for therapy for PTSD–it’a a sneaky som-bitch.

    I"ve been the victim of violence, including rape, but the scene that never leaves my mind is stepping out my front door when I was 12 or 13 and seeing a blood covered man stagger a few feet, then fall down, dead. The Ozark hills still ring with my screaming.

    Reply
  39. Allison Brennan

    Louise, I don’t know what to say except I can’t put myself in your shoes. I’ve never been up close and personal with violence. One fight between three teenage girls at a gas station (station manager broke it up.) My mom house was robbed once about 10 years ago (she wasn’t home) and I once called 911 from my cell phone on the freeway because an obviously drunk driver was swerving back and forth, sideswipped a car, and meandered into another lane. But I’ve never seen someone nearly killed, nor have I seen a dead body anyplace but the morgue. And that was for research. I’ve lead a sheltered life apparently. Not that I’m complaining.

    Reply
  40. Louise Ure

    Susan, you would rise to the task, I’m sure of it. I’ve seen you do it in every other crisis.

    Brevity and intensity, A Reader and Tom? Thank you. I think my writing is getting even terser with all my iPhone finger-tapping experience now.

    JT, it’s not heroic when you can’t even catch your breath long enough to give a decent statement.

    Mary Lynn, I’m recoiling from thinking about you going through a rape and also having faced an injured/dying man. Too much for one good heart, my dear.

    And Allison, may all your days be sheltered and your dreams horror-free.

    Reply

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