December 8th 2011.... April 16th 2007.
Tragedy, heart-breaking, terrifying and a step backwards in my fight against my potential PTSD.
It started as a normal day, got to work late cause ive been sickly did some stuff in the lab, worked on my lab notebook, then decided to goof off for a bit because our holiday party was due to start soon. Had a lovely time chatting and playing with the co-workers children. Really cute kids with really great personalities.
And then I get a text message. "Reports of shots fired at VA Tech"
Start nervous breakdown/hysteria/terrible memories being dragged to the surface.
I left work early cause I just couldnt handle being there. Not that im doing that much better being here at my apartment since im all by myself. Just sitting here, freaking out, wondering when the next blow may strike. Remembering Stack and Mike killed in the 2007 shooting. studying for classes, joking back and forth at circle k or over aim. Thinking of little Dustin (sorry kiddo the nickname has stuck even after all these years since high school) who Im starting to wonder if he will ever graduate. Thinking of Katrina, my college roommate through all four years, a wonderful kind woman with one of the cutest little one year olds youve ever seen. Both of whom may or maynot still be staying secure in place in buildings on campus while the lockdowns continue.
Blacksburg was my home, is still my home in many senses of the word. A place I always felt safe- whether it was walking across campus in the middle of the day, or stumbling back from the bars at 3am. I remember a campus where I used to walk around in the dead of night when I needed to think- without any worries about who might be out there.... I cant even do that in the day time around DC anymore.... it makes me wonder if I could still do it in Blacksburg.
It makes me wonder- with the idea of a shooting happening today, and a police officer being shot (after how secure the police made me feel after my robbery)... am I going to be even more nervous when I have to head to DC this evening for class? Is every little step or feeling or someone behind me going to make me jumpy? and god forbid someone accidently scares me, or touches me without warning- will I have a panic attack? I am even further removed in both distance and time from the shootings today than I was over 4.5 years ago, and this incident (so far) is no where near as heart-breaking... but my psyche wasnt as damaged back then either.