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From this week's fridayfiver: Describe the last time you were frightened.

February 19, 1999

We had wrapped up a day's worth of filming. It was late and dark out. I had just insisted on driving Amy, the director, home. I didn't want her bussing and walking home alone.

I got home at around 2100h. I parked my car facing into the garage at my parents' house. I got out and picked up an armload of files and paper (filming props) from the back seat. The garage door was still open because I don't close it before I get out of the car.

The assailant must have been parked in a dark corner, down a little ways, waiting. But I didn't see a car or person anywhere in the alley as I was coming home.

I looked up and saw a person coming around the driver side of my car towards me with a serated blade knife — the kind with the teeth on the opposite side of the blade; the same one that was lodged in the guy's skull in an x-ray photo on Trauma: Life in the ER that aired sometime just that week.

He was holding it up like he was going to stab me with it.

I saw the knife, I saw his eyes wide open. I nearly froze, but somehow I managed to run. I can't remember the sequence of events exactly, but my papers went flying in his general direction, I ran around my car to get away from him and all the while, I was yelling "NO!" repeatedly, mixing in general yelling and shrieking really loudly.

The only thing on my mind was, "noise... make noise... louder..." By the time I ran to the front passenger side of my car, I was facing the alley again in time to see him take off westbound in the alley. I heard a vehicle start and leave.

A neighbour who had heard me, came out with a baseball bat. He asked if I was alright. I told him what happened, he walked around, didn't see anyone, so he came back and told me to call 911 (which I did right away). The police (3 of them) came to my house, got a description and all the info. They all said I did exactly the right thing by making lots of noise.

It was very surreal in the days and weeks following the incident. I began to think that I hallucinated it and it didn't really happen. Because after all, there I was, safe and unscathed. But my hand print on the hood of the dusty car would bring it all back.

What frightens me most is how I very nearly just stood there and did nothing.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 19th, 2005 07:47 am (UTC)
my heart started racing just reading that! I'm at a loss for words. What a horribly horribly terrifying experience!
Feb. 19th, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oy, sorry =P
Feb. 19th, 2005 08:12 am (UTC)
I think you exactly the right thing. You made noise and kept your car between you. If you had just ran, it becomes a matter of speed.

It's weird how traumatic experiences so quickly gain this dreamlike feeling isn't it?
I think it's your mind ranking it as exceptional, in order to to reset your 'this is where I need to freak out and create adrenaline' boundaries.
Feb. 19th, 2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
I think it's your mind ranking it as exceptional, in order to to reset your 'this is where I need to freak out and create adrenaline' boundaries.

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Feb. 19th, 2005 09:04 am (UTC)
Wow. I've gotten mugged, but just beaten up - weapons were never involved. (And in that case, it was a matter of logistics: I was 14, and 5-foot-nothing; the two guys were in their 20s, and 6' something. Afterward, I ran after them to get try to get my $5 back, and got clocked and half-concussed for my pains, which in retrospect is totally duh.)

Standing there and doing nothing is almost the natural reaction. Afterwards, you tell yourself that you should've seen it coming - but by the time you see it, it's not coming, it's there, and at that point, your options are limited.
Feb. 19th, 2005 12:18 pm (UTC)
*great big hugs*. That's pretty scary. You definitely did do the right thing.
Feb. 19th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
Wow. That's terrifying. I think I would have nightmares about it daily- er, nightly- and be totally terrified for a long time.
Feb. 19th, 2005 05:11 pm (UTC)
What a horrible and terrifying experience! I think our natural reaction is to freeze frame. I'm glad you were able to react fast enough to protect and keep yourself out of harm's way.

Feb. 19th, 2005 09:28 pm (UTC)
What frightens me most is how I very nearly just stood there and did nothing.

I know exactly what you mean.

I nearly got run over by a minivan last year. I saw him coming last second and ran for my life, such that he only hit one leg as I leapt out of the way. If I had reacted like a deer in the headlights (as I always assumed I might in situations like that) I would have been pasted to the road, no doubt about it. He was going FAST.
Feb. 19th, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Yikes, that sounds terrifying.

I'm glad you reacted the way you did, though.
Feb. 21st, 2005 02:50 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're okay. That was very street smart to make a lot of noise. I used to teach kids and women to do that too in self-defense classes.
Feb. 22nd, 2005 08:44 pm (UTC)
wow. that's not just scary - that's terrifying.

i always thought that if a car was coming at me, i'd just jump up on the hood or perform some heroics - but when it almost happened once - i just stood there staring - deer in the headlights...

Feb. 22nd, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
Heh, yeah, just like Jackie Chan. Well, the reason he can do that is because he knows the car is coming and he's practiced it a zillion times before =) =) =)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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