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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.


Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
incognita
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!
bride
Feb. 19th, 2005 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oy, sorry =P
science_vixen
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.
bride
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.
bokane
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.
razorw
Feb. 19th, 2005 12:18 pm (UTC)
*great big hugs*. That's pretty scary. You definitely did do the right thing.
bdspitapit31
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.
aliasa
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.

rcantilles
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.
ugly_boy
Feb. 19th, 2005 10:23 pm (UTC)
Yikes, that sounds terrifying.

I'm glad you reacted the way you did, though.
nightshift
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.
athanata
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...

::hugs::
bride
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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