At the beginning of August, I was mugged. Violently and viciously.
I sat on a cold hospital emergency department bed for six hours trying to stay awake as they observed my concussion. As a kid, I remember having a concussion but that isn't what I remember. It happened when I high-sided on a push bike. There was this almost eternal moment as my body flew over the handle bars and in to the concrete, face first. That's what I remember. Not the details of the concussion but the details of the accident that caused it.
The whole mugging thing was very different to that childhood bike accident. It is remembered the other way around.
Since the mugger ran up behind me, I had no idea that it was coming. There was no anticipation and the associated fear flashbacks that come with that. It happened so fast that even as he pushed me to my knees and slammed my face in to the ground, I didn't have time to put my hands out to stop myself.
One second I was standing. The next I was wiping blood out of my eyes.
In the 20-30 seconds it took the first person to come to my aid, my emotions ran from shock to terror and then to anger. Not anger as I thought I had known once or twice in my life but an irrational overwhelming anger that made me scream, swear like a potty mouth and attack my attacker.
I hope to never feel that level of anger ever again in my life. It was accompanied by thoughts including telling myself that if he was going to rape me that he would have to knock me unconscious and I would fight him until he knocked me out. Luckily, it didn't come to that.
Fighting him was not a rational or aware thought. It was fight or flight and I couldn't get up off the ground with him standing on my stomach and pulling at my bag. In my normal mind, I would have let him take it but in this case I used his holding the bag as leverage to kick the hell out of him.
The oddest part of all of this is that I feel mortal. I always have but now I feel a raw kind of mortal. And I don't want to die because someone else decides it or because I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time or because of some disease. I want to die when I choose to.
I have never felt more sure of anything before. No one chooses how I live and no one chooses how I die.