October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Kit

While loading up my car from my friend’s apartment on a Sunday morning, I was approached by a man who was blinking his eyes erratically. He got my attention by saying “excuse me.” I turned around, and he proceeded to count down from five. In between numbers, he took the bag, threw it aside and told me to get in my car. Then he wiggled the gun he was hiding down by his leg and told me he was going to shoot me. I ran away and made it into the building safely. He rode away on his bike, leaving everything untouched.

For a week or so, I had adrenaline rushes every other minute. The event was on replay — emotions and visual memory. I couldn’t look at guns. I was mad about everyone telling me how brave I was; this was just plain survival. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be alive, and that I was messing up everyone else’s fate by being here.

I called up a colleague who does Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, and that fixed the broken record, rushes and acceptance of everything. I can recall the incident with no emotion now.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.

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