I was robbed eight nights ago.
The incident opened up a deluge of emotions I’d tucked safely away where I couldn’t access them.
I suppose my feelings are expected. A normal human reaction.
But as someone living with complex post traumatic stress disorder, I suppose I didn’t think I’d be so affected by something which I thought perhaps paled in comparison to my past traumas. Ignorance.
I’d been headed to a date, through a familiar, frequented thoroughfare, when all of a sudden the loud glaring sound of a motorcycle startled me. It sounded like it was coming right at me.
And it was.
I looked for it and saw it headed for me, full speed. Maybe they hadn’t seen me.
I caught my breath, as the bike, with two black clad, helmeted riders skidded and came to a sudden halt, inches from me.
Startled, I threw my hands in the air. The bikers said nothing, and the passenger snatched my phone out of my hand. I screamed in surprise, they stared and then slowly took off.
My body went cold, and numbness ran its fingers along my insides. My heart thumped away.
I was dazed, and it took me a few seconds to process what had happened. I quickly approached a guy walking my way, related what happened and asked if he could use his phone to call the police.
‘Sorry I don’t have a phone,’ he said.
I approached someone else. Same response. And another.
I walked the 2 minute distance to the tube station in what felt like a 20 minute walk. My body ached and felt worn. Time had lapsed. The world felt so vast, and though everywhere I could see people, the threads connecting us had been cut. Or so it felt. This photo here that I took in Bonn, outside of one of Germany’s oldest churches- Minster Church, sort of epitomises how I felt.
In the tube station I pleaded with the Transport for London staff to call the police.
The man pulled out his phone. “I could call them but this is my personal phone. Hold a second.”
The staff member radioed his colleague, relayed my story then turned to me, “if you walk back upstairs, there’s a pay phone you can use.”
Friends for medicine
I didn’t have the strength. I went to catch the tube, saw my date, a familiar friendly face, and he called the police.
The police were kind and expressed sadness that no one would help in such a time. The bikers had done the same to some others after me.
There was more kindness at work too. It took some days to process what had happened. My already troubled sleep exacerbated, migraines turned up and anxiety reared it’s head. IBS flared and my stomach refused food. Fibromyalgia had its way and pain heightened.
I haven’t taken that easier route home since. I take the longer way. And when I’ve had to go to the shops located near the dreaded location, I’ve found myself obsessively looking around, fiddling with my personal alarm in my pocket.
I’d been planning a trip to see my longtime friend in Siegen. The time away would be good. And it has been. Though night terrors, which I’ve not had in about four weeks have revisited me on holiday.
I’m not sure what’s the point of this post. But I feel angry. At the thieves and myself. And at the people who wouldn’t help. That same day, I’d rushed to the aid of an elderly man who’d fallen over in the busy Oxford Circus where few people stopped. Where was the compassion?
So so tired. But so glad I got to see Elena. We travelled to Bonn and Cologne, laughed loads and talked till ungodly hours in the morning. We watched YouTube snippets of Goodness Gracious Me and Keeping Up Appearances. Ate too much and laughed some more. Whatever I feel I’m reminded of the power of the purest friendships to lift downcast spirits. Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better. But for now, with my friend here I’m alright.
Gentle hugs x