Picking up from where we left off…
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much the night at my friend’s place, aka the safe house. I just could not wrap my head around what had happened in the past 36 hours. It must be a bad dream because I’m absolutely ‘fine’.
Now was time to take some control back of the situation and get a to-do list together. Get door lock changed, pick up medication, rest and figure out next steps. I was given the all-clear on going back to my apartment by the detective, thank goodness. He didn’t think that the guy knew where I lived. PS – I struggle still with what to call the ‘guy’. There are many curse words I would like to write down to describe him, but I’m trying to work on my cursing. I thought about calling him ‘dude’, but that is just down right disrespectful to The Big Lebowski, and I can’t do that. So, he’s still the guy, or the perp, or the accused. Whatever it is I don’t really care.
A friend took me back to my apartment and the first thing I did was talk with the building manager about getting my door lock changed. I told him what had happened and he was a little bucky with me and not really willing to change the lock. I called my detective & told him this. He was less than impressed. Let’s just say someone was changing my lock very quickly.
Next order of business was to get my medication prescribed by the SANE nurse. She & the detective told me that I might have a hard time filling the prescription at some places because it isn’t carried everywhere. Fortunately, my pharmacy carried it and it was filled immediately. Why didn’t every pharmacy carry it? Well, it is medication to prevent HIV called Truvada. It is a very powerful drug and I needed to be on it (along with anti-nausea medicine) for at least a month. This was a preventative measure because we didn’t know what this guy had for STD’s, so just to be safe I was treated. Nice. Let the nightmare continue because that stuff literally tears you up inside. Fortunately, the pharmacist was very nice and must have seen the look of sheer terror in my eyes as she explained everything to me.
Now, I was back at home by myself trying to collect my thoughts. Took another shower and convinced myself I was good. Just needed some rest and all would be okay. I also determined that I needed to tell someone at home, but I wasn’t ready to tell my parents or sister. I just couldn’t fathom that at that point. I ended up calling my brother-in-law because he was a detective and I knew that he had experience with assault cases. I figured he would handle the news the best out of my family.
Called him up and after some small talk I finally told him about the assault. I was very matter of fact about it and no tears. I wanted his advice on what to do now and to help me tell my sister. He offered help with all of that and then offered to come out and spend a few days with me. I told him that wasn’t necessary, but he insisted and booked a flight for the next day. He helped me tell my sister. I was on the phone and he was with her in person when I told her. Thank goodness he was there with her because this is not the kind of news you can ever prepare for. To say that she was upset is an understatement.
Brother-in-law came to DC and stayed with me for several days. I seriously felt like I was doing fine. Had a few days off to recover and we enjoyed hanging out and exploring the area. He also helped me buy things to make me feel safe at home and on the road traveling. Bought a door-jam that he promised only fire fighters could get through, pepper spray and some alarms for my hotel room when I traveled. We talked about a handgun, but I don’t trust myself with one. I would probably end up shooting myself in the foot before I shot somebody else. He put his detective skills to use and asked a lot of questions. He was also in touch with the detective I was working with and offered to help in any way possible. Looking back on him coming out immediately after the assault, I am so very grateful and blessed. I thought I was ‘fine’, but I really wasn’t. Having family there provided safety that I didn’t know I needed. Brother-in-law coming out to care for me was the start of several people rallying around me in this time of need when I honestly didn’t know how in over my head I was.
After a week off of work to rest it was time to go back to work and I hit the road almost immediately. The best medicine for me was going to the largest youth convention in America in Louisville. So uplifting and energizing seeing amazing youth in agriculture. I was also surrounded by several friends who kept me busy. They had no clue what happened, but being around familiar people helped a great deal. Even though I was on heightened alert all week, again, I thought that I’m going to get through this trauma quickly.
Boy was I wrong.