Last night, just after midnight, I was woken up by some kind of violent crime happening outside my window somewhere. A very angry man yelling and swearing, a second voice terrified, crying, and pleading. Couldn't tell if it was a woman or a child or teen. It took me a second to realize what was happening, and I jumped out of bed to get the cell phone from the kitchen, turn it on, and make sure my own doors were locked. The yelling and swearing, followed by pleading and crying, happened again just as the 911 dispatch picked up. I was just really waking up while trying to talk to the dispatch, trying to remember where I live, figure out what direction the voices came from, and make guesses as to which direction they were heading. At the same time, I was freaking out because Matt is not here, the landlords are away on vacation, the dog is sound asleep, my property is surrounded by scrub woods and industrial factories, matt is not here matt is not here matt is not here, and pictures of what could be happening to the person crying were flashing through my mind - not helping. Dispatch sent out officers, and kindly offered to have one come to my house, but I declined. I didn't hear any more voices, and police cruisers went back and forth a few times over the next hour, but who knows what happened.
Taking the dog out this morning, I kept scanning the woods on the hill to see if anything looked - wrong. I am definitely still wigged out about it today. I noticed earlier that when I wrote a little snippet, I felt calmer. That, and acknowledging that being an "auditory witness" to violence is still upsetting, even if you are physically safe and never in any danger at all.
I was up for awhile after it happened. Freaked out. Trauma triggered, obviously - having to call 911, someone yelling for help - way too close to home. I've never heard violence happening, or that kind of fear in someone's voice before, and though I knew I was likely quite safe inside my house, I just needed to tell someone what happened. My landords went on vacation and turned off the house wireless, so no internet. I couldn't call Matt (not by phone, anyway), I didn't want to wake up any of my friends with young children. I couldn't think of anyone in a more reasonable time zone to call. I did finally think to text my local widow friend, just in case she had insomnia, and thankfully (for me), she did, and offered to come over. (thank you C.) By that time, I'd calmed down some, and felt able to go back to bed and at least try to rest.
The worst part was sitting there, stunned, trying to find something to do, something calming for me, and, however possible, helpful for the people involved. I went for the things I used to do... before, but they no longer feel relevant. I couldn't tell myself "everything is okay," or even "everything will be okay," because it isn't and it won't be. I couldn't send out thoughts to the victim like: "you are safe, god or something has you," because - No. She isn't. She isn't safe. God or love or anything will not keep her, or me, or matt, or anyone "safe," and some things are not going to be "okay." Shit things are GOING to happen. Can happen. Will happen. Could happen. Just because I believe there is a god, or an energy, or a kindness operating in ways I don't always see, does not mean everything will be okay. There is no anchor. What god or love or kindness might do is to stand there beside you while you are getting the very shit beaten out of your soul. And it won't be enough, because you are still going to be beaten.
And then, because it was late, and I was over-tired, and stressed out, I started feeling bad that I was focused on myself at all, and not concentrating all of my energy on sending out love to both of the voices I heard, waves and waves of love and whatever goodness might be lurking around. I don't even believe it, that sending love would change anything that is going to be. Sending love is all I still have, and I need it to be helpful, I need it to still change something. Anything. It has to be better than filling my mind with all sorts of horrible scenes playing out, or rehearsing all the ways I no longer believe.
I think this is the hardest, deepest - loss? just - thing? for me - I used to have such a deep faith and trust in life, and in my own core. Not that massively difficult things wouldn't ever happen, but that goodness would always be there. The context of beauty and goodness and love would always be there. I leaned on it and trusted it. Me and god had a sweet, hard-earned, collaboration. Things would always be okay, things would always go more deeply beautiful, even when events were rocky and difficult. I lived it for 38 years, 9 months, and 12 days; I saw things become more beautiful than I could have ever created on my own. I trusted it. I so much need all of that to still be true, and I don't see how it can.
I don't think I've become pessimistic - I hope not, and if I have tilted that way, I hope it doesn't stick - but I just, I struggle so deeply with how the faith I had relates to this reality, and where do I go when I am lost and needing solid ground, and there isn't any anymore. God, my friend, if you are reading this, I need more help than you think.