Well I guess it’s time I try and write about this…..
On Sunday October 1st 2017 as I am sure you are aware, there was a mass shooting in Las Vegas Nevada targeted at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. I was one of the few thousand people that were at the concert the moment it happened.
Here is what occurred from my perspective and how life has been since then.
Trying to process this and coming back home to a reality that doesn’t feel real right now is nothing I ever imagine I’d have to go through. The different emotions I’ve felt, what goes through my head at all times since the day of the event… it feels indescribable. No I didn’t see anyone get shot, my group and I escaped the scene with just a scratched up leg with minimal scarring. So no we did not see the worst of it and I can only IMAGINE what those people in the front of the crowd are having to go through. I think that that is one of the reasons I am also feeling these emotions. There are so many that actually lost someone in this tragedy….. but those who didn’t see the worst of it are impacted just as much.
On Sunday night/Monday morning we got no sleep. After running aimlessly through hotels, parking lots, running in and out of hotels. Changing our plans one after the other based on the rumors being spread by word of mouth. We ended up finding sanctuary at the MGM hotel with two angels that took us into their room along with another group of girls that they had also taken in. We didn’t get back to our hotel room at the Luxor until Monday morning 7:30 AM. We walked from the MGM to the Luxor and it was the most eerie feeling of my life. It was completely dead silent. You can only see dozens of policy cars in the middle of the intersection forming a wall with sheets in a circle which appeared to be for privacy purposes. There was a limo abandoned in the middle of Las Vegas boulevard. There were cars abandoned with their emergency lights walking up the driveway to the entrance of the hotel. In the distance the most terrifying view of bodies covered in white sheets. We got back into our room and I swear we didn’t speak to each other in complete sentences since finding sanctuary. We were in shock, in disbelief. Trying to understand what was happening. We all knew exactly how we were feeling and needn’t say a word to feel connected the way we did. The second everything started at the concert we didn’t give it enough time to try and figure out what it was or where it was coming from… We just ran… we ran and we didn’t dare stop.
Monday as we gathered our belongings to get out of there and go home I felt nothing but paralyzed and terror. Even arriving home I felt nothing but fear. Anxiety at it’s peak. Every single noise and even people scared me. I have never experienced fear this way. Where ever I was I was terrified. Waiting for something terrible to happen. I was scared of our uber driver going to the airport in Las Vegas. Of the people at the gate waiting for their flights. There were security at the Long Beach airport and I started panicking thinking “What’s going on?” because I heard a helicopter in the distance as I was getting in the car to go home. That night (Monday) I barely slept. I was scared to be alone in my room. I woke up sweating and cold all night, I checked my phone overtime I opened my eyes to see what else if anything had happened. I did not go to work on Tuesday. That night is on constant replay and I can’t think about absolutely anything else.
Tuesday I spent all morning in bed, sleeping and checking the news updates. I finally got up to have a bite to eat at around 1 pm. Eventually I opened up my suitcase and EVERYTHING came rushing back. All the emotions. Unpacking was so hard. the smell of my clothes was hard to bare, seeing my brand new boots that I ran for dear life in was so hard… my headache I’d had since Sunday night finally went away Monday evening.
Wednesday I went to work and I looked like a trashed mess…. I was there but I wasn’t there. Work was insane chaos so it helped me get distracted and forced me to think of something else. but fuck it was exhausting. People asking questions. giving me hugs. that didn’t help… Emails I received about work, about things that needed to get done made me want to cry. Everything seemed so pointless and small.
Thursday I woke up SAD…..so fucking sad…I was like “omg is this what depression might feel like?” I did NOT want to get up. I snoozed like 6 times. Work was crazy so that helped. but the moment I’m not distracted Sunday night is all I think about..
Days to follow feel like devastation. I cannot listen to country without hearing clear gun shots in the background as if they are a part of the music.
I cannot walk outside without feeling unsafe and anxious.
Fireworks make me want to run and hide. I don’t trust ANYONE I don’t know.
I know this is all post traumatic stress and in time it will get better bit right now it is not. and I do not see myself ever being 100% confidently safe in public and crowded areas.
I pray to God that he is with everyone that has been scarred by this tragedy. I pray that he is by our side through this grieving and healing process. My heart aches for those whom saw worse things that we did and for those who lost someone.
This post does not express half of what I feel and what has gone through my mind this past month but I felt the need to write this post which I will be revisiting and adding to over time. I have learned that writing things down as they happen and as you experience them is the best way to capture your feelings, emotions and memories in its most real and raw state.