Lee Ann Garrett: Post manager recounts details of gunfire ringing out during delivery duties
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 23, 2022
By Lee Ann Garrett
It’s been a little over a week since someone shot at me and chased me down Stokes Ferry Road. So many people have checked on me and asked if I’m OK.
For the most part, I’m fine. It’s still hard for me when I see headlights coming up behind me or have a truck behind me at a stop light. I’m jumpy. I’m tense and I start to get overwhelmed easily. But having been married to an alcoholic for 17 years, I know what trauma looks and feels like. I know it’s going to take some time for me to return to something close to normal.
And I know I need to take care of myself. I spent a good part of my life not knowing what that really looked like, pushing people away and not allowing myself to feel love that was all around me because in my experience, love hurt. It took a lot of therapy, hard work and growth for me to get where I am. I’m finally able to see the love around me and to allow myself to feel it. I’m absolutely in love with my new job and I love working with people I have known for a long time, some of them 20 years or more. And I’ve felt happy for the first time in a long time.
Then some stranger takes a shot at me, chases me at high speed and threatens to take all of that away from me. I spent the last week being angry. Angry at some random person for pushing his way into my happy bubble and reminding me what truly being afraid feels like. The Sheriff’s Office has been wonderful. They’ve worked really hard all week to find this person. I’ve answered a lot of questions and put pressure on myself to remember things until I’m almost not sure I know what I saw.
By Thursday afternoon, I was a ball of nerves, frustrations, whirling emotions and self-doubt. I spoke with my therapist and felt a little better, but I was still angry. I made a doctor’s appointment, ate a sandwich and went to bed early. Friday morning, I took my son to work and lay down on the couch. I slept until 11:30 a.m. and chided myself while I was getting ready for the doctor. I absolutely love the nurse practitioner I normally see at my doctor’s office.
After recounting the story I’ve told a hundred times already and an exam, Jessica pronounced me physically OK. She told me she had no problem with me sleeping that much. I probably was so on edge all week I really needed it.
She looked at me with concern and said, “Don’t let him steal your happiness.”
I thought about that and reminded myself how much I’ve learned lately that happiness is a choice. I can choose to allow one person to take away all that I’ve worked for and leave me an angry, hurt, confused person. Or I can choose to look at everything good in my life. He didn’t shoot me.
I kept my head and somehow drove maybe the fastest I ever have without wrecking my car.I kept it together enough to call the police and made it through all of that without panicking. I can be proud of myself for all that. I can let him take away the love and happiness I’ve finally learned to let in or I can choose to focus on it.
“Do what you want to do, what makes you happy, “Jessica told me. I splurged and bought myself some roses, a dress and some yarn. Crocheting something for someone is my best therapy for ptsd. “I had cookies for breakfast,” I told her. She laughed out loud and said, “I’ll let you get away with that just this once.” The world really is a good place, even when bad things happen. Do what makes you smile and choose happiness.
Lee Ann Garrett is distribution manager for the Salisbury Post, Davie County and Clemmons Courier.