Jeremy and I sat down in a small conference room for about 2 minutes. The president was on TV talking about the shooting. It was the first coverage I had seen all day and it was the president. We just looked at each other like what is happening? We are on national news? We asked each other if the other one was ok and we both said no and then we stood up and walked back out into the chaos. We were committed to getting through this.
It was my true honor to help in any way that I could on June 12 and in the year that followed. In some way I believe that I just swallowed all the sadness at the time so that I could be strong for these families. That took a toll on me in the form of some post-traumatic stress indicators. The FBI provided sessions for us to talk about what we might encounter as we recovered from this event. I was very thankful for these sessions. They provided us with a sheet that listed some of the things we might experience, and I was relieved to see some of what was happening to me on the list. It made me feel normal — that what I was experiencing was normal. Some examples were memory loss or loss of your train of thought. I thought I was losing my mind as mid-sentence I had no idea what I was saying — normal PTSD indicator and knowing that made me feel better. Other effects were loss of appetite and sleeplessness. I also experienced some jumpiness around loud noises — this was surprising as I was not involved in the incident, but nonetheless I was told it is normal and will pass. It all did.