I was robbed at gunpoint while in college.
Although that happened many years ago — over 30, in fact — I still remember every detail, every word spoken and how I felt afterwards, sitting in the back of a police car telling and retelling what happened.
I still remember hearing “Hey, turn around,” then turning and staring down the barrel of that gun. I still remember the thoughts racing through my mind while the perpetrators walked me through the building, gun shoved in my back, towards my apartment. I remember devising how I was going to fight back and thinking of all the potential results if I did: Would they pull me down the stairs? Would I be shot in the back? And would I, at the age of 23, spend the rest of my life paralyzed if they did?
They didn’t shoot me: Something spooked them. They left — with $1 and a leather jacket — and only beat me in the face with a lead pipe.
For years I rarely mentioned it, and then, never in detail. This is the first time. After Aurora, I posted a bid on my Facebook page, never mentioning my own experience. After Parkland, I began speaking out constantly.