I can’t believe it’s been a year since I made this video … https://www.youtube.com/embed/LF-CtR9Xfp8?wmode=opaque
It seems like yesterday and forever ago all rolled into one.
Hold on … need a song to go with this post … https://www.youtube.com/embed/yIZ0f0ULVew?wmode=opaque
In sitting here just now and rethinking of this experience, I started to tear up. Amazing how you think you’re over something emotionally only to discover that there are still more layers.
Exactly 5 days before the attack, I wrote out this post and included this paragraph …
I’ve been a people magnet my entire life. I have INSANELY powerful energy. I get told that all the time by anyone that meets me, and this is also why I have SUCH bat shit stories – because people have been drawn to me from birth.
That can be a good thing (like in the case of you wanting to launch a business, or by not only getting called on down on The Price is Right, but also winning an entire apartment full of furniture) or a bad thing – like having an attempted kidnapping at 9, molested at 11, stalked at 16, stopping a break in at your house at 17, stopping a carjacking at 22. My life story is a fucking joke man. My mom, dad, and brother can tell you some INSANE stories, and their response to everything is always – “only you Jen.”
It’s no joke. I’m a people magnet. I was just WALKING DOWN THE STREET at 7:30 at night IN MY OLD NEIGHBORHOOD and some random crazy person decided to have a fit of violence and wallop me in the noggin.
I don’t remember much regarding the seconds before the attack, but I vividly remember walking and feeling this mush (which come to find out was my brain) hit my skull and then instead of moving forward like I thought I was going to, I crashed to the ground. The fall didn’t hurt, nothing hurt actually. I was out cold.
I came to as I was pulled up from the ground by the back of my hoodie. Those next few moments were spent in and out of consciousness; I had some of the most vivid dreams of my life. Everything had this fluid energy to it. Every time I moved in this dream state I could see these waves ripple in the air. I genuinely thought I had died.
I then had to talk to the police and I surprised myself by knowing my name and my address. I must still be alive, I thought.
My hand then reached to the top of my head as I removed my headphones. I looked down at my palm and saw blood. A lot of blood.
I began to cry not out of pain, but confusion.
What just happened?
When “something bad” happens, your brain, and body get this “charge” for lack of a better word. Your animal instincts kick in and you are just AMPED and will do ANYTHING to survive.
It took all of my energy to focus on things people were asking me and even more energy to walk to my friend’s car and climb inside.
As I looked down at my twitter feed, (as I was documenting the process as a way to differentiate what was “real” and what wasn’t) all of the avatars started talking back to me. I was scared. I was so so scared.
The rest of the story you all know by now, but what I never did was speak from a place of emotion in this experience.
My go-to in life is to always always always see the bright side of things and to choose to focus on the value add and greater good in any given scenario, but what I’ve never admitted was that this experience SUCKED!!!!!
I remember that next day (the day of our first live show) and not only getting the worst migraine of my life, but also getting in the shower and having to feel the staples in my head.
Your hair as a woman is a sign of beauty and this symbol of health and vitality. To feel these little pieces of metal in my head made me feel like Frankenstein.
I broke down and was hysterical.
Why did this happen?
I was so confused because I wasn’t robbed or raped. Why did someone randomly decide to hurt me?
From the first time I went outside, to going to CVS to get alleve – I found everything extremely overwhelming. Lights, sounds, everything was SO loud and SO bright.
I decided while I was still in the hospital that no matter WHAT we were still going to do our first stage show (a dream come true for me). Even if I have to be wheeled onto that stage I. Am. Doing. This. I screamed to my producing partner. As long as I am not dead I am going to make this happen.
No one ever said I was exactly “normal” but one thing I do know is that I am EXTREMELY willful. If I set my mind to a goal or to a project, it gets done. Period end of sentence.
The show was a spectacular success, and for that I was grateful but I was also still emotionally numb from the experience. I was so focused on this execution that I kept saying, just do it … keep it going, keep your head up, people have worked very hard on this show and now it’s all on you …
I spent 24 years of my life as a victim. When I was a kid and something bad happened, which was a lot of the time, I would wilt down to nothing. I let all of those experiences define me and I allowed all of the people involved in them to have this power over me.
I was NOT NOT NOT going to allow that to happen with this experience.
I am not a victim, I kept telling myself over and over.
No matter how strong I thought I was though, I couldn’t stop crying.
Every morning in the shower, every night before I closed my eyes. I slipped into a horrible depression and all I wanted to do was sleep, or obsessively check the status of his lock up on the prison’s website. Suddenly this string of very simple names that never meant anything to me now meant everything. I googled him like mad desperately trying to grasp any bit of information on him, but the searches always turned up empty. I would continue to cry.
I wrote about my experiences as much as I could during that time, but it was mostly from the perspective of realizing how precious life is.
It’s no joke. I absolutely thought I had died.
The one thing I held on to was the fact that even after that experience there was nothing I wanted to change about my lifestyle. Sure, it was weird those first few days walking around outside alone again, but I still did it.
This person may have hurt me and knocked me down but I wasn’t going to stay there for very long.
A few weeks later the legal process began.
The universe has a really sick sense of humor if this is its version of a date for me on this day, I thought.
Over the next few months I received medical bill after medical bill which was covered by the state since I was uninsured and a victim of an attack. (Cali covers you up to 65K in your medical expenses.)
Every time they came in I would then have to plan a trip down to the Hollywood police department where I had to drop them off.
That experience in and of itself is terrifying as no one should EVER have to visit the Hollywood police department.
A few more months went by and things appeared to be going back to normal. I would still catch myself crying from time to time when I thought about the attack, but mostly I focused on abundance and focused on the amazing friends (both online and in real life) I had at the time to help me through it.
Then, right after I came back from Comic Con, I received a knock at the door and was handed a subpoena.
I can’t testify again, I cried to my friend. I know this is telling a good story for the website, but this is also my life and I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS, I screamed almost to a point where I was inconsolable.
The next morning, I had to be in court and relatively early on in the proceedings the DA came over to me and told me what to expect from the day.
19 years, she said to me. That’s what he’s agreed to.
I stared at her …. SHOCKED.
19 YEARS?! I thought. I thought maybe a year, or two? Even that felt like a lot.
We went after 25 to life since this was his third strike. This was what we were able to get him down to. If he accepts you won’t have to testify, she said.
I vividly remember staring at her in complete shock.
I was walking down the street to Meltdown comics at 7:30 at night. What if I hadn’t gone at that exact moment, or been sick that day? Now this guy is going to get 19 years because of me?
I felt this incredible sense of guilt in that moment and this sudden urge to protect this man (even though he was the one that harmed me). He’s INSANE, I thought. Like literally off his rocker INSANE. He had no idea who I was and even through all of the proceedings didn’t seem to even know he did anything wrong!! How can you explain logic to someone like this?
Does he even know what he is agreeing to, I asked her? He’s not well.
Yes, she said and I understand how difficult all of this is for you. It’s hard for me too, but I sleep at night knowing these people are better off behind bars because they can at least receive the medical attention they need.
In that moment I questioned the legal definition of the word “sane.”
I then did the math.
This guy was easily in his 60s. Let’s add in for overcrowding he’s still looking at a solid 7-10 years. He is basically going away for the rest of his life, I thought. When he comes out he is going to be a very old man.
The DA took a liking to me and not only treated me to lunch that day but also allowed me to hang out with her in her office during the recess.
I saw my file on her desk and she caught my eyes.
Here, she said. You can look at this.
I can look at my file? I asked innocently?
Of course, she said.
Take a look at it while I make this call.
She left the room and I then DEVVOOOUURRRREEEEEEDDDD my entire file.
There were multiple accounts of what happened from each witness, the police log, my medical records – it fascinated me.
“Patient appears to have only suffered a mild concussion. She was very calm, awake, and lucid.”
I LAUGHED reading that.
I was calm? I thought I had DIED!!!!
I then thought back to the animalistic state I was in and felt this relief.
The human body is amazing, I thought. There I was so COMPLETELY out of it, yet to everyone else I seemed alrite enough to be deemed “calm.”
The rest of the day was extremely difficult. The entire proceeding took about 30 minutes for him to agree to everything and each time a question was asked I held my breath hoping that he was going to say “he understood.” At any moment during that process he could have decided to say he wanted to change his mind. Since his natural state is insane I was extremely unsure of what to expect.
When everything was said and done he was then lead away still in handcuffs and the DA gave me a ride home in her Corvette.
You shouldn’t have to take the bus after a day like today, she said.
I remember afterwards feeling this relief that everything was said and done but also this confusion and guilt. I wasn’t grateful for the experience but I was at least thankful that if it was going to happen to someone at least it happened to me and not some really old person that might not have recovered so quickly.
My family thought I was insane for feeling any sort of empathy for the guy.
HE HIT YOU IN THE HEAD?! My brother screamed at me in the phone. JEN YOU COULD HAVE DIED! DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND THAT?
Yeah, I would say calmly, but I didn’t. 19 years just seems so long, I defended.
Where am I now?
I’m still angry at this experience. I’m angry that none of it made sense to me. I’m angry at society for not helping someone that so clearly needed it. What if he hadn’t grown up the way he had? What if he made different life choices and could get on medication? I’m not any better than that man, I just had different parents and grew up in a very different manner.
This experience is so emotional for me, yet I never wrote about it in that way. I’ve cried through most of the way in even writing it out. Yes, I am grateful it made me that much more appreciative to be alive, and yes, I am glad it made me appreciate my lifestyle and not want to change it, but so what?
Shitty things happen in this world and there’s nothing we can do about it. I am now going to process this experience with my feather like mentality and appreciate it for the lessons, but let it go.
Let go of the anger.
Let go of the pain.
Let go of the tears.
Let go of the guilt.
This experience no longer belongs to me.
Time to just float. New chapter bitches.