I was shot by a disturbed woman in my elementary school 30 years ago. I was seriously wounded but survived. As the years passed, I am now fortunate to live a happy, fulfilled life that usually chugs along daily without many reminders of my past.
I am also a mom of three young kids and frequently go to their elementary school for concerts, lunches, helping the teachers, normal mom stuff. Except I’m not a normal mom, and more times than I’d like to admit and with no warning signs, I’m overwhelmed with a sense of fear and panic. My heart races, my breath is fast and the pit in my stomach is insane. Only gun violence victims can understand this physical symptom that surprised me 25 years later. The effects of these violent tragedies carry through a lifetime. I always push through and remind myself that I’m a survivor.