Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can you have post traumatic stress even if it didn't happen to you?

That's what I've been googling tonight. And apparently you can. And I think in some very mild form, I do.
Tonight my friends took me out for a quick drink and to see Magic Mike for my birthday. None of us had seen it so I decided that's what I wanted to do for my birthday.

Right when we got into the theater (which I should mention is about 5 miles from the theater shooting that took place less than two weeks ago) the security guard (which I've never seen in a movie theater) asked to check our purses at the door before we were even allowed into the theater. For about half a second I wondered why, then I quickly figured it out. 

We went in, got our popcorn, drinks and raisenetts, and went to find our theater. Which happened to be theater nine. Right next to theater nine they were playing the new batman movie. My palms started sweating and I felt very anxious and a bit nauseous walking past it to go into our theater. I could even hear the sounds coming from the theater next door before our movie started. And it honestly made me feel sick to my stomach.

Since our previews hadn't even started, we talked about how it was our first time to the movies since the shooting. I mentioned how I couldn't possibly imagine going to see that movie. That just the thought of stepping into a theater to see that was enough to make me dizzy and my heart started to pound. One friend agreed and the other just shrugged and didn't think it would bother her. None of us knew anyone in the theater shooting, but two out of three of us felt pretty effected by it.

One of the first thoughts that popped into my head as we were sitting there was "If a shooter came in now, we wouldn't stand a chance" and about 30 seconds after I thought that my friend basically said the exact same thing out loud. It's so incredibly sad that at least two out of three of us couldn't even sit down for a movie with out the morbid thought of being shot. 

The first couple days after I didn't even want to leave my house. I just wanted to hold my babies and shelter them from what was going on less than ten miles away. I have no idea if this is 'normal' or 'rational' behavior but I couldn't fathom going outside of our little fenced in yard. 

And now apparently going to the movies gives me sweaty palms, and hearing the music from the theater next to me made me more anxious than I've been in a long time. 

Does anyone else feel like this? Is this just me being super sensitive (which I can be at times) or is it because it happened to so close to home? 


  1. I can totally relate, and I live all the way in California! It's so sad. I think it's just a matter of KNOWING that horrible things like that can and do happen... just being aware of the craziness that happens in this world is enough to give some of us anxiety in an environment where we would normally feel relaxed and at ease. The same happened when the twin towers were hit on 9/11...I lived in NY back then, and although I wasn't near there when it happened, I was still affected by it BIG time. Still kinda am. The only One who keeps me sane is Jesus! If it weren't for Him I'd be an anxious wreck, all the time.

    1. I can't even begin to imagine what it would have been like living in new york during and after 9/11! And yes its totally about knowing and realizing that you aren't safe anywhere! THanks for commenting!