Nov 16, 2017

Just a little panic

Where's Ripley when you need her?
I had a frightening experience last night.

At about ten after seven in the evening, a man tried to break into my apartment. He banged on my door and rattled the doorknob, trying to get in. I called through the door and asked who it was and he called me "Elizabeth" and told me to let him in. I said I wasn't Elizabeth, and to please go away. He didn't. He kept banging on the door, yelling gibberish and raving about something, and repeatedly twisting the doorknob. He was pounding so hard that the door was actually moving a little with each of the blows.

I was terrified and called 911. It took nearly half an hour for the police to come, and during that time, the man continued to yell and pound on my door and try to wrench the doorknob. He tried knocking on the other three apartment doors in the hallway but kept coming back to mine. I kept expecting the door would give way at any moment, so I hid in the bathroom, locked the door, and even called 911 again because it seemed to be taking forever. Daniel was due to get off work at 7:30, so I called him to let him know what was happening because I was afraid he'd walk into the hall and this crazy guy would hurt him.

Long story short, or maybe less long, the cops finally arrived and took the man outside. When Daniel got home a few minutes later, he saw four cops in the parking lot holding the guy, who was clearly out of his head on something, raving and hallucinating. Daniel and I talked with our neighbor, who had also called 911. He told me that he was sure the man was going to knock my door down and if it had happened, he and his partner would have come in after him to try and help me. Isn't that lovely?

My chest kept hurting all evening, although I was pretty sure it wasn't my heart. It felt as if I'd wrenched something. At about 11:30, I went to bed. Or I tried. I went to lie down, and as soon as I did, I started gasping and couldn't breathe. I immediately got up and tried to catch my breath, and I couldn't. I kept trying to inhale and finally, I actually screamed for Daniel; he'd already gone to bed. He sat me down and got me to breathe, and it eventually passed. Afterward, I broke out in a literal cold sweat. I had terrible trouble getting to sleep afterward, and ended up awake most of the night, sitting on the couch.

That had to be a panic attack. I'd never had one before, and I can tell you that I'd strongly prefer never to have another. I've never had someone try to break into my apartment before, either. I'd rather that didn't happen again, either.


Lamounier said...

Billie, I'm sorry this happened to you and I'm glad the guy didn't break into your apartment. I hope he never disturbs you again and I hope you recover soon from this trauma. Did the police say anything afterwards?

Billie Doux said...

Thanks, Lamounier. No, the police didn't follow up at all. They asked me when I called if I knew the man, and I didn't -- it was totally random. And fortunately, no one was hurt.