“If you think you can drug me and play with my toys, you’ve got another thing coming, buddy!”

Yesterday was eventful.  I’ll start with the good part.  I had a blast at Sky Zone.  I love trampolines.  I went alone and met some cool people.  They invited me to join them later at a bar, but I declined.  It felt nice to be asked, though.  I came home and set up my new bass pedal.  The difference is astonishing.  I’m a better drummer just from moving to a real bass pedal.  Who knew?

I played along with Stevie Nicks’ In Your Dreams album.  Ghosts Are Gone is a lot of fun to play.  Her music isn’t easy to play.  It forces me to focus keenly, which also makes me play better.  This is good, as I want to progress to playing Evanescence songs.  (I’m stalling because the other end of yesterday sucked.)  Last night, I was laying on the floor, reading.  It was after 1 AM when I heard an awful sound.

I went through stages of identifying the sound.  First, I thought someone accidentally turned up their speakers to full blast while watching porn.  That only lasted about a second, then I realized it wasn’t a recording, someone nearby was making those noises.  My heartbeat sped up, and I felt alarmed.  I went out on my balcony with my phone.  It was a woman wailing.

I dialed 911 and told them I thought someone was being hurt.  It was loud enough the operator could hear someone was in distress through the phone.  I said it sounded like a woman was in labor, or being harmed.  There was also a man’s voice, but much softer and only briefly.  I ended the call with the police and ran downstairs, still carrying my phone.

I was shaking and breathing hard from being freaked out.  I found the woman and a man in the parking lot, just out of view of my balcony.  She was on the ground, and he was leaning over her.  Something I hate about PTSD is my fight or flight mechanism is broken.  I don’t react the way I desire.  I don’t react at all in real time.  I freeze when I most need to act.

I’m starting to shake again, just relaying this.  I’m pausing to get it together.  Okay.  Whew.  Better now.  Cut to me sprinting up to some random guy leaning over a wailing woman.  I should have laid on the ground and calmed myself at that point.  There was a moment when this occurred, and I ignored it.  My bad.  (Blatant foreshadowing FTW.)

So many things were running through my mind at warp speed.  I consciously decided to push some random guy as hard as I could because I was terrified he was hurting some random woman.  The sound was so awful.  An actress in child labor is the most accurate reference I have.  The man saw me coming but didn’t move.  He fell back and landed hard.

Then he sprung up and punched me in my left cheek so hard.  So hard.  Keep a few things in mind; I divorced a man who beat me up twice, and I have five older brothers.  I’ve been punched in the face before.  It sucks.  Getting hit in the face hurts like hell, is very disorienting, and it hurts for a long time.

It turns out, the woman was okayish.  I asked her if she was alright, and she said yes.  Then she apologized for frightening me and whimpered for a bit.  In my experience, her behavior last night could indicate severe underlying issues.  I’m not qualified to determine what the hell was up with her.  Then the cops showed up.  They basically stared at us from their vehicle for a while, then drove away after making sure everyone was okay, and nobody wanted to press charges.

The man also has PTSD.  The thing that blows me away is I wondered this just before I pushed him.  The way he reacted was off.  He froze.  Then he responded in a delayed manner while in full panic mode, (exactly as I do.)  Do nothing, then overreact as if you’re about to die when you’re clearly not.  Good times.  Sigh.  He’s pretty upset, of course.  I feel like crap.

I told him we have to blame this on PTSD if anything, at least until we’re calmed down enough to trust our rationality.  Having five older brothers also taught me how intensely it can hurt a man to accidentally harm a woman.  Most men don’t beat women.  (To do something you abhor against your will is torture.)  He agreed, and I can tell we’re allies now.  He’s also an Army veteran, but he served in Afghanistan.

He was an officer, though.  (It’s a different world as far as I know.)  I’m pretty sure it makes it worse for him, though.  The differences between enlisted and officers are similar to (idealized) blue collar and white collar civilians, respectively.  I got the impression officers are held to a stricter standard of military bearing.  So we’re both in a lot of pain today.  I suspect the woman was under the influence of something and had a bad trip.

I’ve spent the day in my closet, having a delayed reaction to a scenario I feared but didn’t take place.  I barely comprehend it, and am irked I have to go through it despite reality.  And my face hurts like hell.  I’m still a little dazed.  I’m texting my new ally every two hours to make sure he’s hanging in there.

I asked him if he had any drugs or guns while thinking to myself how weird it is I knew to ask.  His hunting rifle is in the trunk of his car, and I have both sets of his car keys for now.  He’s been drinking all day, but I don’t know enough about alcohol to do more than babysitting.  (Neither of us is willing to go to the VA.)

He’s in a program for dual diagnosis of PTSD and drug abuse.  It’s sad how normal that is to me.  I don’t know very many veterans who aren’t in that program.  It makes me feel weird sometimes because I don’t abuse drugs.  Then I remember it’s mostly because I’m not outgoing enough to meet a drug dealer since I got out.  Odd how that works in my favor, but I’ll take it.

I can’t think about drugs without thinking about Stevie Nicks.  I wonder if her other fans are affected this way.  It’s fascinating to me.  Reading Chrissie Hynde’s book reinforced my stance.  She’s clean now, too.  She also paid a high price for her past use.  Her journey is different than that of Stevie Nicks, but they reached the same conclusion.  “Drugs are bad, m’kay?” (Southpark reference.  Sorry.)

I’m a bit surprised how much better I’m feeling now than when I began writing this post.  I’m not shaking at all, and have laughed a few times.  Thinking about Stevie Nicks always cheers me up.  That only used to work with comedians.  Bonus.  Okay, I’ve rambled long enough and got it outside of me.

I’m off to check in on my new ally.  Neither of us knows who the woman is, by the way.  Our training compelled us to respond to her wails.  Nobody else in the complex did more than look out the window.  That’s strange and disturbing to me, but I don’t know anyone else’s story.

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