A month ago many people's lives changed from the Vegas shooting at the Route 91 Country Music Festival. This is one anonymous soul who wanted to share their story. To share that even those that were not injured still are suffering. To share that those who were not a "hero" per say still are in fact a hero. To share that this memory doesn't just go away, but that it will never go away.
We are the living victims. We are the victims without the lasting visible scars. We will tell you we were considered safe but we are no where near fine. We were the ones that were able to get away. The ones that ran because our lives actually depended on it. The ones that can tell you “fight or flight” takes over your entire being and you do not have a choice. This is for the hundreds of you, like myself that ran and couldn’t look back.
We are the survivors. The survivors of Americas largest mass shooting where we lost 58 souls and 22,000 souls were injured. It has been weeks, the publicity has died down and less people bring it up but we still can not stop thinking about it even though we are the “lucky” ones. At times I don’t feel so lucky, I do not feel safe but written to my best of my ability, this is what I do feel.
How could this have happened. how could one man plan and execute such an inhumane act. How could he have so easily killed 58 beautiful souls with intentions on far more.
My heart breaks.
My heart breaks for those that are no longer on this physical earth with us.
My heart breaks for their families and friends. My heart breaks for the injured, the ones who got shot, trampled, hit by cars or bruised from running into anything and everything.
My heart breaks for those who saw the blood and the bodies that had their lives stolen.
My heart breaks for every single person at that festival, those on the strip that heard it all unfold and those elsewhere waiting for a text back confirming a loved ones safety.
My heart breaks that this is the world we are living in . my heart breaks that this is my city, my home and that I’m not sure if I will ever feel safe again...in any crowd...in any public setting.
My heart breaks for everyone who understands this and might feel the same.
I feel guilty.
I feel guilty that I was not a hero.
I feel guilty that I did not throw my body over another to shield them.
I feel guilty that my instinct was to run and I did not look behind me.
I feel guilty that I did not help the first responders or the injured and that I ran like hell to get myself to safety.
I feel guilty that I lost all my friends and have to wait for the texts back making sure they made it out as well. I feel guilty that I made it out.
I feel guilty that I am a lucky one and I could send a text to my parents saying “I’m okay, i’ll explain later”
I feel guilty that I called a friend to pick me up and I even put her near that situation. That she had to get that call of a good friend completely out of breath and the only things she could really understand were “shooter” “concert” “please get me” “campus”
I feel guilty that my parents woke up to my text with no clue what I was referring to let alone what in the world was going on.
I feel guilty that one of my best friends was there because I convinced them to go last minute with a wristband of another friend.
I feel guilty feeling relieved when I saw my friends car, when I first got in and especially when we made it back to the house sitting there trying to figure out what the hell just happened.
I feel guilty that our troops and first responders put themselves in this sort of situation willingly to protect our country but I am so affected by this single night.
I feel guilty that while I was running I was watching all the first responders racing to the scene that I was running for my life from.
I feel guilty I didn’t help.
I feel guilty talking about it or bringing it up, especially now that time has passed.
I feel guilty for those that listen to me talk about it, having no idea what to even say.
I feel guilty that I think about it 24/7 and it consumes my mind.
I feel guilty that small things will trigger something in me and my friends have to deal with it.
I feel guilty that I am alive.
And I feel guilty for feeling guilty that I am alive.
I am scared.
I am scared of tall buildings and public spaces.
I am scared of people and never knowing what is going on in someone else’s mind.
I am scared of not being able to get out or feeling trapped in some sort of way.
I am scared of gunshots, a car backfiring, fireworks, poppers and any sort of sound that even slightly resembles that horrific noise.
I am scared of seeing police cars and ambulances flying down the street to any other scene now.
I am scared that there are theories that there were multiple shooters and that we might not be getting all the facts.
I am scared about the “fake news” and and the stories of people who saw things I didn’t.
I am scared of the woman that had been kicked out for telling the people in front of her that “we were all going to die”.
I am scared that they found more ammo in his car as well as explosives. I am scared that things don’t add up and we don’t know “why”.
I am scared because we don’t understand and not sure how to tell if this could happen again.
I am scared that this is going to happen again and it will only be on a bigger scale to outdo the last one.
I am scared to return to the site because I never want to see what I saw again.
But what I fear most is that if or when this does happen again, I will be the one idly waiting on the confirmation of the family member and close friends safety.
But despite of all of this, I am so incredibly grateful and thankful.
I am a survivor.
I am still on this physical earth and my body knew how to handle this situation when my conscious thoughts turned off.
I am thankful that I did not see the blood or the visuals of the lifeless.
I am thankful I was able to run, that I was on the backside of the crowd and there were not mass amounts of people standing between me and the exit.
I am thankful that I was not intoxicated like I had been the past two nights or in the front of the crowd like I had been earlier that day.
I am thankful for my body and that it carried me 3 miles so my friend picking me up did not have to come any closer to the scene.
I am thankful that I survived my biggest fear. The fear that keeps me from enjoying large crowds and mass amounts of people.
I am thankful that my family does not have to deal with tragedy as well as my friends.
I am thankful that I was a lucky one because a bullet hit a man 5 ft behind me and with the slightest different of an angle that could have been my friends or myself.
I am thankful for the woman who screamed that he had been shot because until then we didn’t understand the sound.
I am thankful that all my friends responded relaying their safety and i’m thankful for those that checked in on me, knowing or not knowing I was there.
I am thankful to be here.
I am thankful once again for the first responders racing to the scene that I was running for my life from.
I am thankful that my body took over.
I am thankful for the others around me leading the way through the food trucks to the entrance taking any sort of cover.
I am thankful for the woman I heard praying because then I too started to pray.
I am beyond thankful for the GoFundMe account and those that have donated and helped.
I am thankful for #VegasStrong and the support of locals and non-locals that know this is a tragedy and the worst night of so many peoples lives.
I am thankful for the relief I see in peoples eyes when I tell them I was actually there and that we are able to have a conversation right then.
I am thankful for the people who listen and tell me it’s okay to not be okay.
I am thankful I survived.
I am thankful I am still here and so many others can say the same.