I tried Maintain some similarities from my former life: I worked on the book, started a new research project, was offered a job, and briefly considered moving the two of us to Philadelphia. When I wasn’t working, I made appointments and returned calls: therapists, doctors, human resources, insurance companies, colleagues, family and friends. Jason continues to go to therapy every week because the scars from his face fade. But he was suffering from insomnia – nightmares and hypervigilance kept him awake at night and he spent most of his day watching TV and going to sleep on the sofa in the living room. I scheduled food delivery and left the laundry in the fluff-and-fold. I looked for blackout screens and white-sound machines on Amazon. I have fought and fought.
Then, I ran away.
On the first anniversary of the beating, I was in Los Angeles on a reporting trip. For the second anniversary, I was on the road, working on a new research project.
When I was away, I desperately tried to feel something — anything – for myself. In Helsinki, Finland, to speak at a conference of Nordic social workers, I sat in 190-degree smoke gold and then padded outside, barefoot and mostly naked, drowning in a hole in the ice of the Baltic Sea above my head. In the water deposited near the black, once, twice, thrice.
In 2016, I was on the road for 147 days. In 2017, I went 97 days.
We need the money I have earned through the engagement of speaking and research grants. But it would be unreasonable to claim that all my travels were materially necessary. I wanted space and time away from the push of PTSD. I Wanted I want to leave as much as I can
In December 2017, We decided to experiment with travel together. Before the attack, we were part of the adventure – we drove hundreds of miles along Route 20, visiting 1930s attractions: wandering through a museum of petrified animals, spelling at Howe Caverns, choosing a favorite roadside cheeseburger. Tried. We trampled the Adirondacks and floated in the Sacandaga Reservoir. He went to take pictures of the ruined 19th century hotel under the security fence while I was watching from the car.
We wanted to try to restore that feeling. We used all my Amtrak points to buy two round-trip tickets in a slipper car for a seven-day trip to Montana for my mom’s 75th birthday. Theoretically, it was perfect: a small fish bowl of our own, traveling across the country at a leisurely pace. I thought we would read, play cards. I bought a small electric kettle so we could make tea when the earth went out the window.