Rewalking the Feared Road: An Explanation of the Past Few Days

Today I walked along the path where I was traumatized the other day. In the broad daylight with the sun beaming down and people cycling past, the way did not seem quite as frightening. Although alone, I felt mostly at peace. When a woman passed me, a smile unintentionally crept onto my face. Despite my normal lack of confidence, I actually realized that I have more strength than most people first guess.

The past few days have been a struggle. I have struggled to know how much to disclose on my blog. Although honesty is important to me, staying safe and calming down has been my main priority along with my school work. How much did I need to write about, I wondered. My conclusion was that I do not “need” to write about what happened Sunday. This traumatizing event happened to me and is mine to tell or keep silent.

However, I am ready to explain a bit more. Please, questions are okay but know that I am still struggling to deal with this whole situation. I would really appreciate some kindness and discretion..

On Sunday, I was walking home from church by myself and passed by a homeless man. In an attempt to be kind, I smiled briefly at him before continuing on toward the home. Several minutes later, after I had long forgotten my action, he showed up by my side. Claiming he longed to have someone like me to talk, he began following me for over 20 minutes.

Anxieties overwhelmed me right away, but my desire to be kind won over my worries. Many of the tales he told (whether or not they are true) were depressing. Meanwhile, he tried to find out more about me while I tried to turn the conversation back to him and also make him turn around before I arrived back where I am staying. This inner dilemma continued the entire trip. The closer to my dorms that I got, the more my fear heightened.

Finally, he decided to return back. I gave him money, partly out of guilt but also in hopes of our connection done. Instead, he asked for more, tried to set up a time to meet, and alluded to my looks (as he had numerous times that evening). The worst part came at our goodbye. Then he began to kiss me multiple times and such…

Everything ended up fairly fine. I was able to say “No” and get away before anything escalated even more. He did not try to follow me. Things were awful but could have been much worse.

Anyway, that is what has been happening in the past few days. I have been talking with the police, walking with people everywhere, and trying to sleep despite nightmares. However, each day is a bit easier.

My strength to get through this is even apparent to me. I am strong enough to say no, ask for help, and cope with deep pain. I will get through this.

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27 thoughts on “Rewalking the Feared Road: An Explanation of the Past Few Days

  1. words4jp says:

    Lots of hugs and warm thoughts. xxx

  2. Glad he didn’t follow you. I always tell my friends to pretend like they’re talking on the phone when they’re walking alone and then actually call someone if they feel unsafe. Hope things get better. I know I don’t really know you yet, but let me know if there’s anything I can do.

  3. Oh my gosh, that’s horrible. I was hoping you hadn’t been assaulted, but I thought it might have been something like that. You didn’t do anything wrong – he was an opportunistic creep. I’m so glad you got yourself to safety and are looking after yourself. Go you!

  4. Jerome Meeds says:

    Anna rose,

    I am so glad to hear that you are recovering. You are strong! I look forward to seeing you soon. Love you,

    Dad

  5. April says:

    I’m glad you shared. Sometimes, just getting it off our mind through writing (whether it’s kept private or public) seems to help my mind work through things. While traumatizing, you found you ARE strong.

  6. mary says:

    Wow you are brave. I know for myself the terror in a situation like that is pretty shattering. God Bless.

  7. jefairgrieve says:

    Yes, you are strong, Anna Rose, and you handled it wonderfully well! Better than a lot of other women would have done. Give yourself credit for doing so well.

    I’m a small-town girl originally. When I moved to Portland, Oregon, I learned to not make eye contact on public transportation and on the streets where there were homeless people. That was hard to learn. But homeless people in Portland can be scary! I also had to learn to give out “don’t mess with me” signals with my body language. Very sad. Life isn’t supposed to be this way–but it is. I’m still not always sure how to carry out Christ’s commandment of love when I am in scary situations. However, it might be helpful to talk to a nun who works with street people or a Salvation Army woman who works in a soup kitchen.

    Thanks so much for writing about the incident, Anna Rose. I hope that by writing, you will help yourself process the experience and recover from it. Reading your account has helped me, I know. Thank you!

    • Thank you! That is a great idea of talking to a nun or someone who works in a soup kitchen. Also, I think that helping people on the street is a gift and ministery that some people have more than others. Plus, it is always best to work in groups.

  8. I so sorry to hear of this troubling experience. I pray for God’s banner of love to surround you.

  9. celinemurray says:

    Sending lots of love your way Anna Rose. I’m SO sorry that this happened. 😦

  10. 80smetalman says:

    That would have been difficult for most people. You did very well in spite of the circumstances, keep your head up.

  11. Amy says:

    Praying for you tonight, sweet friend! 🙂

  12. My father and his partner have PTSD. I see so many people with it and it’s creeping up in law enforcement. I’m starting to write more of my short stories around this topic to try to bring awareness to it. THANK you for what you do!

    • Thank you so much! It is sad that these illness is becoming so prevalent. Hopefully awareness can help those dealing with PTSD and reduce situations that cause it.

  13. […] I was unsure of what to do. Fear made me long to stay quiet and safe. However, I forced myself to open up to others to receive help. This included talking with police for long […]

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