Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Post’

Describe your ultimate escape plan (and tell us what you’re escaping from).

This was the moment when all that thinking should be paying off.  The guy knocked on the door.  I was home alone, and true to form, didn’t answer or give any indication I was inside.  In fact I froze, like a wild hare does when the hawk circles overhead.  I heard voices outside through the relatively thin decorative glass.  Loud voices.  Ethnic voices.  I swallowed to calm the escalated heartbeat in my ears.

Reaching for my phone, I noted the time and calculated these men had been standing on my porch for far longer than necessary.  They were still talking loudly, though I couldn’t hear what was being said.  The emergency number was entered, my thumb hovered over the the green “Send Call” button when I heard the sound of breaking glass.  Well shit!  I thought.

Determined to be as quiet as possible, I peeked over the edge of the stairs as an arm snaked through the glass to unlock the front door and two good-sized men shouldered their way into my parents’ house.  Glancing at the phone, I knew I had to get to safety and call the authorities.  In that order.

I remember being remarkably calm as I assessed their progress into the house. They were confident no-one was home and were clearly in search of valuables.  The only thing of value I possessed was a laptop, so I darted into my room to shove it under my mattress. Foolish, perhaps, but my pride wouldn’t permit me to just let them take my most beloved possession–my writings.  I shut the door behind me to drown out the sound of their animal noises as they rifled through our electronics downstairs.  It was only a matter of time before they came up here to my second floor.

I locked my door, then stepped into the adjacent bathroom to lock that door as well.  That should hold them for a bit. My next stop was the window.  It opened easily and I slithered out onto the roof, my phone still in hand.  Taking a few steps to the right, I was able to get out of the line of sight of my window (lest they come barging into my room) and perched comfortably in a shady nook.  I can remember how the roof shingles gnawed at my feet and how loud my clothing was as I took a seat.

I felt now was an acceptable time to phone for emergency assistance.  “Send Call.”  The emergency operator answered calmly.  I, for my part, kept my head as I explained my situation.  She asked me if I was in a safe location and I said that I was.  “Are you at a neighbor’s house?”

“Oh, I’m on the roof,” I answered, almost cheerily.  After assuring her I was safe, she asked if I could see the suspects’ car.  I could, and gave her as good a description as I knew how.   What seemed only moments later, several squad cars appeared and the officers sprang into action.  The men were promptly arrested.  The whole affair, from start to finish had taken mere minutes.  As the would-be burglars were led out the front of the house, I couldn’t resist wishing them ‘good luck’ with the famous Hawaiian hand gesture.

One of the officers spoke into his CB radio at his shoulder, then raised his eyes to where I sat.  He waved and I called down, “Thank you for your quick response!”

He invited me down and we discussed all I had seen and heard.   It wasn’t until about 45 minutes later, after all statements had been made, I had been checked for any injuries, the area had been scoured for evidence, glass cleaned up, makeshift patching put over the hole in the door, and the officers seen on their way that the adrenaline of that afternoon came in a sudden all-in rush.  I cried for an hour, curled into the couch.

I had escaped the immediate threat, but the intruders had still taken something from me: my peace of mind.  I didn’t know how I was to escape that, or how even to begin to try.

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Daily Prompt – Honestly evaluate the way you respond to crisis. Are you happy with the way you react?

In March of 2011 I was 24, two months shy of my Bachelor’s Degree, unmarried, still living at home, and had no “real” job. I skipped a lady cycle and immediately purchased and took a home test because, well, there are people who set their clocks by my lady cycles, so I knew something had to be amiss.  Sure enough, a little PLUS appeared in the test result window.  I felt a thrill run through me, from my shoulders to my toes.  My boyfriend didn’t know yet (obviously), and I was faced with a pounding in my head:  Pregnant. Oh God, what now?

My family is extremely conservative and believed they had “raised me right” so I knew that telling them would be a nightmare.  My boyfriend… well… who knew how he’d take it.  I could only hope that it wouldn’t be too traumatic.  My grandparents would—too much!  I went about my day on that Sunday as though nothing was wrong.  Inside I felt a strange calm, a peace, and even though my breaths were a little shaky as I moved through that next 24 hours, I made a decision to 1) Keep Calm and 2) Carry On.  No panic, no tears, no distress.  I knew I had to create a plan and immediately set to the task.

I was extremely proud of my reaction.  I think some people in my shoes would have flailed and panicked and cried and/or immediately scheduled an abortion.  I did none of these things.  While I knew that my life was about to change forever (pardon the cliché), instead of collapsing into a pity party of horror and regret, I went on the offense to ensure that this beautiful child, whom I loved from the moment he became a zygote (haha), would have a completely awesome, stable, and loving environment in which to grow up.

I told my boyfriend Monday morning while we were at school.  To my surprise, he knelt in front of me with a huge smile on his face and quietly assured me he was excited and happy.  He rose to the challenge brilliantly, and I was (and am) so thankful for that.  We married in November of that year in a quiet JP ceremony and are still together—and expecting our second child in June!

Of course, telling my family was indeed an ordeal, and I waited until after our Easter trip to Dallas to tell them.  My mother threatened me with the vengeance of God (how does one gain access to that?) and my dad stared at me like I was filthy, his face totally blank. By the end of that conversation, I was biting my tongue to keep from saying “Well maybe I’ll miscarry and that’ll just solve everyone’s problems, now won’t it?”

All through the pregnancy, I was under pressure from my mom to admit that I was “not ready” to be a parent.  She even went so far as to seek people out at their church who might be willing to adopt my little one when he arrived. She harped on the fact that I didn’t have any money and reminded me over and over that she and my dad were “not going to pay” for the child.  Clearly, money and living arrangements were a huge issue, and I went right out and took the first job I could find in June 2011 at a local craft store.  In September 2011 I got an awesome job in the recruiting department of a large Houston HR company.   My little one was born in December and my husband and I took him home to our own house, which I purchased in November.

So am I proud of the way I responded to this particular crisis situation?  You betcha.  Have I responded poorly to other crisis situations since then?  You betcha.  But I know that when the going gets hellish, I can respond appropriately and raise hell right back and that makes me pretty stellar.

Daily Prompt – Most of us are excellent at being self-deprecating, and are not so good at the opposite. Tell us your favorite thing about yourself.

It is admittedly difficult to sound one’s own trumpet.  We’re taught from our earliest days not to talk about ourselves all the time, we’re taught not to brag about what we do or what we have because it might hurt someone else’s feelings.  In the end, we are told, we’ll have no friends because nobody likes being around someone who is self-absorbed.

I think my favorite thing about myself is my loyalty.  If I were friends with me, I’d value that trait like mad.  It’s a long journey to “friendship” but once we’re friends, we’re solid.  It would take a big event to cause us to “break up.”  Example: If we hadn’t seen each other in 4 years and the first thing you do when we get together is insult my hair, call up your stoner friends (who I don’t know) to hang out right away, generally treat me like I don’t matter, then abuse me when I attempt to take my leave (as I am clearly in your way)—then we’re not friends anymore.

I also really like my feet.  Seriously, if I took better care of them with regular pedicures, I could be a foot model.  My toes are not weird and joint-y, they’re all in a very nice descending height line. The nails are well-shaped and have healthy color.  My arch is defined and graceful, and when I point my toes, the look is strong and sleek.   Maybe that’s how I can make a little extra income.  Feet.