It’s been a very disturbing morning. After only 3 and a half hours of sleep, I awoke to sound of a very loud gunshot blast at 5:30 am this morning. It sounded as close as our driveway, right outside our bedroom. Immediately startled and panicked, I sat up in bed, hearing my boyfriend (KR) in the other room on the phone with 911 reporting the sound of gunfire. After he got off the phone, he told me not to turn on any lights because he had heard arguing right outside our house. Frightened when I also heard voices through the walls of our bedroom, I jumped out of bed, running to be with KR. Seriously, our walls are so thin, that had a shot come through, I feared getting hit (look at that, still a little self-preservation left, after all). Somehow, I worked up the nerve to make my way through the darkened house to my normal hiding spot where I can peek out a window without being seen. Right outside, not 10 – 15 feet from our back porch, two men were standing, until they heard the police sirens, not even a few seconds later. They bolted at that point, running to the east of us. I didn’t have my glasses on, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to ID them. And it was very dark and just a brief glimpse. I know one was white, but the other was in the shadows.
After I told KR they had taken off running, he insisted on going outside to search our property to see if they discarded the gun. I told him he was nuts and should wait on the police to come down here; but of course, he wouldn’t listen. He took a flashlight and headed out. After waiting an hour for him to return, I had worked myself up into a panic, pacing the hallway. Full-blown panic attack!
He finally returned an hour and a half later and told me the story that led up to the shooting as it was told to him by the victims of the assault. No one was shot, thankfully. The family had gone out for the night to a local pub where a group of men had harassed them and tried to steal one of their cell phones. The family decided to leave the pub at that point and come back home. They were followed by this group of men! That group of men, then, broke out windows of a lot of the cars parked in the townhouse parking area (not just theirs, but other tenants, as well), busted windows of the townhouse, broke down their door, proceeded to rob them at gunpoint, and finally, fired a few shots as they were fleeing the scene! The victims said it was an assault rifle of some sort. KR said he heard 5 shots; the neighbors said 3 shots; I heard only the one that woke me up. I swear, it sounded like that shot came from our drive-way, though, because it sounded so close. It’s unclear to me how the police apprehended 3 of these men or if there were only 3 men total or if the 3 men arrested included the 2 that I saw in our yard; but as far as I know, that weapon was not found. Neither were the shell casings. Also, it’s unclear if this assault was racially motivated due to the family being from Saudi Arabia and Muslim. It is the south and, unfortunately, things like that still have to be taken into consideration here.
I can only imagine the intense terror that this family felt – is still feeling, more than likely. Nothing warrants an assault like that, absolutely nothing!
It took me the better part of 3 hours (from the time I awoke) to calm down my own panicking mind and get the panic attack under control; and I didn’t even witness any of this. This is rural-fucking-TN, not downtown Detroit! Please, forgive the language because no other word could possibly express the anger, disgust, and sheer frustration I feel right now. If I wanted to hear gunshots at 5:30 am, I would have stayed in Nashville, TN, rather than moving out of the city to a very rural community.
Sometimes, I really hate this world….
Like KR said, “Whatever happened to the days when if you had a dispute with someone, you took it out to the parking lot and fought it out like men?”
Needless to say, I’m not going to get anymore sleep today. I really don’t think 45 minutes is going to be long enough to tell my therapist everything that has happened over the last 4 weeks since my last visit. Respite care is looking a lot more inviting at this point!