It was a year ago.
I was gratefully holed up in a friend's condo in Telluride, and awkwardly sharing a room with DJ. Two twin beds, and a chair "for Jesus" between us.
(Jesus did not make an appearance)
I was a pendulum swinging wildly between the terrors of my most recent dating adventures and the stalking, which felt mostly like a game of tag where the rules kept changing every six seconds and my body couldn't make sense of chasing or being chased.
And it happened in an instant, just like it happened today.
Someone else screamed for help, and we ran.
It isn't a question, or it shouldn't be. When someone screams for help, you run. You get help, or try to. You don't have to be the help, but perhaps you can summon help in some way. Tell an adult?
I ran towards, and DJ ran after me.
(maybe Jesus did, too?)
I listened to a podcast later today about the paralysis that falls over us when there are so many bystanders. We get all weird trying to decide who should get help and who should hold still. Who among us is a paramedic, and who has a working cell phone, and who else knows our precise location.
Zebras do not do this.
I'm thinking of this now as my twitter feed is becoming more and more ominous, more reminiscent of a hostage situation. Where do we go for help? Which adults do we tell? What kind of medic is trained to stop this kind of bleeding?
I've resorted to asking the abundance of empty chairs in my home what Jesus would do.
(no answers, so far)
Gaslighting isn't new to me. I survived that, and that was when it was mainly just me. Now it is the nation and the twitterverse who not only have no one to summon, but also don't know if it's actually this bad, or if they're crazy.
This is a hostage situation. Gaslighting disempowers and holds you hostage, and the way you fight against it is by remembering. By telling an adult. By not letting this become the new normal.