stormy--'s Diaryland Diary

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The Day not even peanut M&Ms can soothe

Yesterday early evening I had to go out and run a few errands (this is what happens when you waste away all of the bright and sunny afternoon dealing silly things like doing some work and laundry). I’m not a fan of going out when it’s so dark - even at 6pm! (stupid daylight savings time!) - but my plan wasn’t to be gone long, my car really needed a fill up anyway, and I could pick up dinner on my way home. Plus it was great to go out and appreciate this awesome weather we’ve been having! (Today it was in the mid 70’s and yet this past Monday morning I woke up to everything being covered in snow!!! [Can I blame that on stupid daylight savings time too?])

Wearing my t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops while I still could (I’m dreading having to find clothes in my winter closet), I went to two stores, picked up some grilled chicken nuggets from CFA, and then stopped for gas. My car was so low on gas that I’m surprised it didn’t start angrily beeping at me (I’m embarrassed to admit that I have a lot of experience with that angry beep). I had just replaced the nozzle after pumping my gas and was waiting for my receipt to print when this guy from the car at the pump behind me called out to me. He wanted to know where Target was. I thought this was weird because all he had to do was look to the right and there was a huge Target sign one red-light down the road. It’s literally a huge bullseye. Seriously, no one could miss it! My spidey sense was also tingling because the three other guys (all looked to be in their very early 20’s) in his car were laughing and seemed to be egging him on (I couldn’t hear what they said exactly but your girl knows a pack of jackasses when she sees them).

Like all girls who find themselves in a situation they’re not completely comfortable being in, I felt like I had to be nice so not to incur any more of their unwanted attention but I also needed to get out of there pronto. So, I pointed towards the Target sign and said, “It’s right there.” Then I grabbed my receipt and made my way around to my door. That’s when the guy in the front passenger’s side shored up his courage and popped his head out the window to say, “And what about your place? How do we get there?” amid loud snickers and chuckles from his friends. I choose to ignore them because what could I have possibly said that wouldn’t have just amplified the situation? Besides, I was as good as gone. So, that should have been the end of it, right? Well, I was wrong.

They followed me. I was just minding my own business and thinking about my grilled chicken nuggets I was going to scarf down when I got home when it occurred to me that the car behind me was driving really, really close. Way too close for my comfort. It was only when I was stopped at a red light and had the help of some street lights that I saw that it was the same car full of guys. No matter what I did to lose them or how slow or fast I drove, there they were. And even when I drove twenty minutes in the opposite direction on a freeway in attempt to lose them (and wasted some of my newly purchased gas - those stupid jerks!), they would not give up. And I’m not exactly sure what their little … aggressive maneuver was supposed to accomplish. Did they want to scare me? Was I supposed to be impressed by the magnitude of their assholery? Did they seriously mean to do me harm? I seriously want to know, what the hell were they thinking?

I had no idea what to do to get them to leave me alone and I was starting to panic. I was on this single lane road that leads into my town when they pulled into the opposite direction’s lane and made as if they wanted to pass me. But they didn’t. Instead, they kept pace with my car while the driver honked his horn repeatedly and the guy in the passenger’s seat made crude hand gestures, and the guy in the back licked his window. Driving the way they were, they were going to kill someone - maybe me, maybe themselves, or maybe even some random person innocently driving or walking down the street. So I called Joe and told him what was going on. And he was pissed. So pissed that he connected our call with another cop that’s a friend of his so his friend could come to my rescue because, as Joe put it, if he was the one who stopped those guys he would rip their heads off. Well, that’s not exactly what he said. He also included some very colorful expletives.

I felt like I was finally able to breathe when I got to the side street where Joe’s friend sat waiting for us to pass. And I think this was the only time I was actually ecstatic to see those flashing blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. But nothing could beat the happiness I felt when I saw the car behind me slow and pull off to the side of the road and, as I drove away, got smaller and smaller in my mirror.

Joe was at my house when I finally pulled into my drive. And after I turned off the car, I couldn’t move. It was like I was paralyzed. I was shaking so hard that Joe had to open my door, unclick my seatbelt, and he even picked me up and carried me inside the house. It took a while but I was starting to get a handle on myself when a couple of his buddies showed up. (My neighbors are going to think I’m nothing but trouble with all of the cop cars that have been at my house these past few months!) But, when one of his friends showed up and handed me a Dairy Queen M&M Blizzard because Joe had once mentioned my love of M&Ms, I kind of lost it a little. There were no sobs but there were a lot of tears, which probably made everyone uncomfortable and that I’m now really embarrassed about.

And, the guys in the car were from another state - just one state over, but still - three of them were 23 and one was 21, and they claimed that they were lost and were just trying to find their way home (lying pricks!). I probably sounded bloodthirsty when I asked if he gave them a beat down. No such luck though. But apparently they looked like they were going to wet their pants when Joe’s friend said, “Oh really? I thought you were looking for Target.” And then I guess he explained to them that it wasn’t their smartest idea to harass the woman of a fellow police officer. After doing all the typical things - plates, checking IDs, insurance, etc… all while being intimidating (he reassured me he was EXTREMELY intimidating but I’m not sure if he was just humoring me or not), he told them that since they were simply lost and had no business here that he shouldn’t be seeing them again. And, if he did see them again, they wouldn’t like the reception they would get. Still, I’m disappointed that they weren’t hauled off and put in the clink at least over night!

Joe stayed with me last night. I was (initially at least) happy about that because, even though I kept saying that I was fine, I really wasn’t okay. And then, when I was finally able to fall asleep, the nightmares happened. I’ve been getting them a lot these past couple weeks. I think that’s because my therapist and I have been talking about a lot of stuff during my online therapy sessions. It’s usually the same dream or kind of the same. But last night it morphed into something a little different with those guys chasing me. I woke up kicking and screaming and clawing. Now Joe has three parallel scrapes running down his neck from my nails when he tried to wake me up. I even fell out of the bed trying to get away from him.

Joe’s not a stupid man. He’s been right there next to me several times when I’ve cried out and have woken up from one of my nightmares. I would just tell him that I’ve always had nightmares and it wasn’t a big deal (not a lie but also not the whole truth either). Last night after I calmed down, got off the floor, and got back in bed, Joe asked if something bad ever happened to me. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to lie but I also didn’t know how to talk about the truth. The only response I could give him was a nod. Thank goodness he didn’t press for details and we went back to bed. I don’t think either of us slept though.

Joe was supposed to work today but took the day off. He spent all day with me. All day I’ve felt like I’ve been walking on eggshells waiting for him to bring it up or ask questions, but he hasn’t. We spent most of the day at his place. I helped him bag all of the leaves in his yard (he had a ton of them!), we took Daisy for a drive and even went to a car wash (Daisy loves the car wash and if the line wasn’t so long I would have asked to go through again!), then we came to my place and we watched my favorite 80’s movie (The Breakfast Club [I was shocked to learn Joe never saw it before]), Joe grilled us some hamburgers for dinner, and then we watched a little football. Joe’s still watching football. I left him at it with the excuse that I was going to check my email and do a little work. He didn’t like it. Well, maybe it’s not that he didn’t like it so much as he was visibly concerned. It’s like all day he’s been worried about me. Worried and I could also sense some anger in there as well. I mean, I know he’s not angry at me. Well, at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

And now I feel like the clock is ticking. I’m going to have to talk to him about stuff. And I don’t want to. I just want it all to go away. I don’t know what to say - honest and truly. I don’t know if Joe is just giving me time before bringing it up or if he’s waiting for me to say something. But how do I even start the conversation? How does anyone start that conversation?

Tomorrow I was thinking about seeing if my therapist could see me. I have an appointment with her on Thursday afternoon but I think an earlier meeting might be good. I know it has been a bad habit of mine to run away and completely shut down when things get too real for me. I also know I can’t do that this time. I don’t want to do it this time. But what if I can’t figure out a way to be different?

*

9:52 p.m. - 2020-11-08

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