On March 6, 2012, a gunman entered my school (Episcopal High School) with an AK-47 and more than 100 rounds of ammo in a guitar case. He shot and killed our principal and himself. He was a Spanish teacher who had gotten fired earlier that morning. I was in science class when the shots rang out. We were put on lockdown for several hours.
I remember every detail of that day. I know what I was wearing; I can still hear the shots; I can see what happened. I can still feel everything from that day. Screams, tears and the brokenness of our community were all that remained. It was a day that changed my life forever.
The trauma in the aftermath of gun violence is a tough road to navigate. The experience haunts you. But I know that when I enter a dark forest, I must keep in mind that every step in is a step out, because the only way out is through. There is always hope to be found. My trauma does not define me.