Seven years ago on October 28 in Hollywood my dear friend Wendy was murdered and died in my arms. She was killed by a 19-year-old gang member who, after my testimony, is serving a life sentence in prison. I can feel it in my spirit and my bones that The Day is approaching, albeit seven years later. I constantly feel panicked and afraid. I am rediculously jumpy at even the smallest sound. You know something is up when the beep of a computer causes a severe startle reflex. Unless I have a few drinks before sleeping, I don’t. I wake up every few hours absolutely drenched in sweat to the point that I have to change my PJs three or four times as well as the bedsheets. I feel hopeless and just so fucking sad.
Seven years, man. And there is something else that makes me feel just as, if not more, uncomfortable: I didn’t even realise why I was feeling and experiencing all of the above things until about a month ago. I suppose it’s a good thing that the murder isn’t on my mind constantly and rather I think about how happy Wendy is at the things that have been happening around me. I was freaking out because I didn’t know why I felt such fear and such panic, such hopelessness when things are actually going really well in my life. I got an article published, I went to a casting workshop, I’m auditioning for the Third Witch in Macbeth, I work for a really well-known newspaper that has won all these awards, I have a wonderful husband who is so good to me, I’m working on a second novel, I finally live in a place where people come to visit and I’ve seen two of my best friends already in the four months I’ve been in Prague. But still, panic. Fear. Hopelessness. It’s strange that I didn’t remember the trauma in my head, even though my body most certainly does. And then I felt upset because how could I not have known? How could the fact have escaped me that the reason I felt so badly was because my body and spirit are bracing for The Day. They have been all these months.
It is a schizofrenic feeling. Like somehow my mind is outside my self. Disconnected. Or is this healing? Is this part of the process of letting go of the trauma? I really don’t know, except that it hurts. Whether I am concious of it or not, I feel the pain of this event that has so drastically altered my life that I think of it as a Before and After. The trauma of it was so intense that it has forced out other memories.
I recently discovered Facebook and reconnected with so many friends from elementary, middle and high school. Looking at their old pictures and even browsing their friend lists to see who I might also know, I was amazed at how little I remember about so many people I am sure I knew. Granted, my childhood wasn’t the most sunshiny of rose gardens, and that could be contributing to the nonremembering. But in my heart I know there is something more to it.
I believe that we don’t ever really forget anything, that the things in our mind just get hidden away or we have forgotten where to look for them much in the same way we forget where we put our keys or glasses. The things always turn up. So I hope that the memories will begin coming back to me one day. It’s just so strange, you know? And it makes me feel so sad.
I don’t really know what else to say right now. I’m not even sure if I feel any better having written this out. I’m vacillating between feeling totally numb and being overwhelmed with a faceless panic. I’m wishing I knew how to time travel. I’m waiting for the day to come and go and hoping I will get through it without any new scars.