(This relates to a continuing series, An Assault in Venice. Part 1 starts here.)

Before I started publicly blogging about Jeanette and including the gruesome details of her assault from my perspective, I sent her an email. It was a—hey, I’m thinking of writing about this and I want to make sure it’s okay with you—email.

She wrote back:

Write, write, write! I will want to read it. I’d love to hear your story.

I was both excited and afraid. I was excited because I’ve wanted to write this story for a long time. From a purely story perspective, this is a knockout. But I was afraid to write it because on a personal level, this story is filled with emotional landmines and psychological trapdoors. What’s clear is that my number one goal through the event was to protect Jeanette as much as I could, and it seems as though that has continued with time.

Certain recent events have transpired that have drawn me toward the telling of this tale. Those events will be revealed over time. And the public forum of blogging was really just a tool to keep me writing, which has been highly effective.

Now that we’re public, and there are readers who keep encouraging me to continue (thank you!), I thought it would be fun to “break the fourth wall” and include a few words from Jeanette. This morning she sent me the following email…

Dear Tess,

Your last entry reads a little bit like Harriet the Spy.  I hope you were carrying a notebook around with you.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these entries.  About how I feel.  How do I feel?  It’s not any one thing.

The entry or two that contained specifics about the attack, your coming back and finding me, the coagulated blood, the gash in my face, the amount of blood everywhere and the images of the hospital have been the most emotionally jarring, where I’ve actually had a visceral reaction. Because I’ve healed? Because people move on? I think I’ve forgotten or reduced the severity of the physical wounds.  Or, more likely, I think that because something happens to me it can’t be very important.  That thought and feeling has diminished the experience.  And of course, then minimized me.  Because then my life in general is not a very big deal.

But, those images of me so decimated and so close to death rock the foundation of that belief.  Your response to the attack, how it has also effected your life also questions the validity of that belief.

So, kind of on an uber – emotional/psychological level the blog is a reminder that I have some work to do around the foundation of my personal beliefs.

The attack happened to me.  But it also happened to you, Amy and Rob, and Mary.  Your home and sense of safety was violated.  You had to take care of me and be present in the horror of the physical residue of the assault before the ambulance came.  I knew that, but had never truly stepped in your shoes to feel that.  My experience of you post-attack has been of this together, composed, get things done super-woman adult. I have the luxury of not remembering the physical attack, but you have the images of me and the little house and the hospital as a part of you in a way I never will.  The entries are allowing me to see inside of you, to know how extreme this event was for you.

Then there’s the pure joy of getting a glimpse into your – get out there and find the guy – impulse. The meeting of the detective and the getting the tape while unwittingly impersonating an officer.  It’s a great story because the protagonist is so active and resourceful.  I love being invited into your process and adventures.

Now I anxiously await each new entry.  Blog on!

I love you so very much,

jeanette

…the story continues with Part 9