With all the craziness going on with health-care reform and Ft Hood another big news item hasn't been the big media circus that it could have been. Tonight John Allen Muhammed (the DC sniper) was executed in Virginia.
I was driving to work this morning when I heard a little news snippet mentioning that the execution was scheduled for today pending clemency being granted by the governor. After I got home tonight I checked CNN and sure enough, he had been executed...and it was the strangest thing. I felt a sense of relief.
We lived in Virginia at the time all that craziness was going on. We were not right in the thick of it, but we were about 30-45 minutes away from one of the shootings. I was going through some pretty dark stuff and one day something snapped. I was at the base running around the track and as I turned the bend I looked across the field and saw an 18-wheeler in the parking lot across the street. My heart started pounding and I KNEW that there was someone in that truck that was going to shoot me. I KNEW it. I sprinted to my car, got inside, locked the doors and hyperventilated/sobbed UNCONTROLLABLY for 10 minutes. I remember the fear. I could taste it. I was afraid for my life and I just KNEW someone was going to harm me.
That was my first anxiety attack.
Since then I have had some serious issues all centering around safety and security. (I was diagnosed with OCD in 2004 and a majority of my obsessions and compulsions manifest in things related to safety) I remember several nights in Newport when Nathan would be on tour, locking myself in our bedroom with the cats and all the knives in the house. For the first couple years we lived there I refused to leave the windows open at night (even though we lived on the second floor) and I would get up multiple (like 4 or 5) times a night to check and make sure the windows were not only shut - but locked.
I have always felt that the fractured emotional state I was in while we lived in Virginia coupled with the very real-ness (at least to me) of the sniper shootings broke something in my brain.
As time has passed the fear has begun to go away and I have fewer and fewer anxiety ridden moments. As crazy (and horrible) as it sounds I hope that with this execution my mind can somehow put itself at ease and finish repairing whatever snapped that day on the track.