An unpleasant anniversary

“Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

April is the second anniversary of me getting mugged. I am still terrified of walking alone in the dark and any silhouette of a man sends shivers down my spine. However, I think I am ready to elaborate on what happened:

I feel it.


My heart starts fluttering, my hands get clammy with cold sweat, my brain feels light in my skull, my gut is tight, air is being pulled out of my lungs.


The strange boy on the bike glances at me, and paddles away towards the dark alley.


Grass. All I see is grass.


I walk as fast I can across the front lawn of a house in the corner, wishing I could pull my house closer to me with my mind.


I feel it.


Turning my head, I see the strange boy throwing his bike on the grass, and he charges at me, determined and fierce.


I feel it with all my being.


I run.


I yell for help, once, twice, and the third time with all the force left in me. But the tiny street remains dark, like an abandoned piece of an urban nightmare, haunted by indifference.


I feel it.


His strong hand pushes me hard onto the pavement.


Closed-eye, I steel myself to be stabbed, raped, or ripped apart. But he only tugs at my red bag. He mumbles under his breath in a threatening tone, “Just give it to me”.


I let go.


He and his bike disappear into the night, and my tears appear, shaking me all over in disbelief.


I feel it.


In silence, agony creeps under my skin. My sorrowful voice drowns in my chest. I claw the walls to get out, but I am beneath the surface, fading out.



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  1. First…LOVE The Alchemist! Secondly, beautifully written, Em. I felt it! Thirdly, isn’t it the truth though? You do feel it, you feel it coming, thick and foreboding and you KNOW.

    1. Yes, it’s eerie and uncanny, but sometimes you just know…! Thank you Laura x

  2. Oh, Em, I’m so sorry, what a harrowing experience. I’ve been mugged twice. The first time by a homeless man with a knife at the bus stop waiting to go home after high school play practice, the second by a young black man with a .38 outside my hotel room. It’s a very frightening, indeed earthshattering, experience. I’m sad you had to endure it.

    1. Denny, I’m feeling bad for you and Em! Didn’t know that you were mugged, too!
      So happy that you are both safe! Hard to believe that you still want to help the homeless, after you were mugged. You have a good heart!!!!! You are a very kind person!

    2. Oh my GOD! I can’t even begin to imagine an experience like that, I’m so glad that you’re okay.

  3. I’m so sorry that this happened to you, I can’t imagine how horrific it must have been. 😞

    1. Thanks Sophia xx

  4. When I was a teenager in London I used to carry a housebrick in a plastic bag purposely to swing at would be muggers while walking my dog . We lived in a so called good area but I was still terrified after dark. I’m sorry you had to go through this, it’s terrifying.

    1. That’s so smart. I hope you never had to use it.

      1. I used it once. My Labrador ripped a chunk out of his trousers and I took a kneecap out and I ran dragging the dog, terrified to breathe even. I was waiting for the police to come but I guess he wasn’t dumb enough to report it.

        1. Oh my….. I need to get a pepper spray or something…

  5. HUGS. I hope you have been able to heal somewhat with your sharing. I am sorry this happened to you.

    1. Thank you xx I was a horrible experience but it could’ve been much worse, and I’m grateful I only lost material possessions.

  6. Yikes, Em!!!!! I’m feeling so bad for you!!!! I am terrified of a home invasion. Can’t imagine being mugged. So sorry!!!!!!

    1. So sorry. Thanks for sharing and thank goodness it wasn’t worse. Although I’m sure it’s changed you in unpleasant ways. Love the Alchemist quote too. Peace, Esterina

      1. Thank you x x, it was for sure unpleasant, but still as far as mugging goes a lucky one.

    2. Thank you Patty xx As horrible as it was it did make me stringer in a way, and motivated me to learn self-defense.

  7. I am so sorry that this happened to you! I was mugged 3 years ago on 10th February and such an experience has never left me. It set me back in so many ways and even though I wasn’t physically hurt, it terrified me and was traumatizing. I can imagine how your memory of this event may be really upsetting and thank you for sharing it with us. I really hope that writing about it and expressing your emotions has helped you cope if only a little. Sending best wishes and kindness to you!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your own experience too. If it helps, I have decided to learn self-defense, not to fight anyone, but to gain confidence and move past the fear xx

      1. Thank you and yes I’ve been thinking of taking up a self defence class too! Hope it goes well for both of us 🙂 hugs! X

  8. paeansunplugged says:

    I am so sorry to know Em. Hugs dear.
    The memories can be so traumatizing. Hope writing about it has been cathartic.
    Best wishes.

    1. Thank you, yes writing has always been super therapeutic 🙂

  9. At least all he did was take off with your red bag. You weren’t stabbed, raped, or ripped apart, as you feared you might have been. Violated, yes, traumatized, indeed. But here it is, two years later, and you’re alive, in one piece, and able to write about what happened to you. That’s something.

    1. Yes, absolutely. I was and am very grateful that the only thing he wanted was my bag. I was very lucky. I am involuntarily scared of the dark now, but ultimately this experience will make me stronger. I was mostly happy because he didn’t really get any money out of it, I was suspecting that it was his first time and hopefully since it was unsuccessful he won’t ever do it to anybody else again.

  10. How terrifying. Congrats on getting to a place where you can write about it. Sending hugs and wishes for this experience to lose its power with time.

    1. Thank you Margaret, I truly appreciate the kind words x

  11. Thank so much for the nomination, I am super grateful xx

  12. I am so bummed this happened to you. And I am so grateful that you have the spirit of the alchemist in your heart…turning this terrible event into a beautiful piece of writing. You are a bright light.

    1. It wasn’t the best experience, but I am starting kickboxing soon, so I guess there is my silver-lining(?). Thanks so much 🙂

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