Thursday, October 18, 2007

Thinking Straight in a Stressful Situation!

This post and story of what happened to me was inspired by Robyn at Thrifty Miss Prissy (see my favorite blogs) and what happened to her.

If you do not look at or read anything else on my blog - PLEASE READ THIS!

When my children were very young, Joy was an infant and Emily was almost 3, I was going to meet a friend and her small son at McDonald's for lunch. I arrived early, so instead of just sitting there, I decided to go across the street to a grocery store and get a few things I needed.

I was lucky enough to get a parking spot that faced the front of the store. I got out and walked around the car to open the door and get both of my daughters out of their car seats. As I was bent down in the car, I literaly heard a voice say to me, "Look up and be aware of what is going on around you!" I did not hear this very loud and clear voice with my ears. I heard it come up from inside of me - yet I know it was not me. I will swear on a stack of Bibles that this is EXACTLY TRUE!

I immediately stood straight up and looked around. Parked 3 cars over was a man sitting in the drivers seat of a truck starring at me with an eerie grin on his face. The rhythmic motion and the position of his hands gave me enough clues as to what he was doing ...if you know what I mean! I was very scared. It is one thing to realized that woman are easily overpowered by men, but it is another to realize just how venerable you are when you have 2 small children to protect!!

I quickly went into the store and asked to speak to the manager. When he appeared I told (as embarrassing as that was!) him what was going on and he walked outside with me. He could see for himself what I was saying was true and he told me there was nothing he could do because the man was in the parking lot and not inside the store. Then he just walked away from me! Can you believe it???

I returned to the inside of the store about as frazzled as I could be and decided that I would go ahead and buy the things I needed and hopefully the man in the parking lot would be gone by then. It took me about 20 minutes to slowly mill through the store and get checked out. As I exited the door, I made eye contact once again with my predator.

I decided that since my next stop was just across the street, I should continue on. I strapped my girls back into their seats, walked around my car, got in, locked all the doors, started the engine, put the gear into reverse and turned around to see behind me. There he was! He had backed his car out of his space and driven around the lot and was waiting there for me to leave, presumably so that he could follow me. I pulled back into my parking spot and just set there. A moment later, another car pulled up behind this man and honked for him to move. The minute he pulled past me, followed by the other car, I pulled out and quickly speed across the street to the restaurant. My friend was already there and as I told her the story, we went out onto the playground. I could see this predator, who was now very angry, speeding and circling the parking lot looking for me. He stopped and parked. I just stood in the McDonald's playground area and watched. Sadly what I saw may have been my salvation and the possible assault or even rape of another woman. You see - it was not long before a lovely young lady came out of the store and jumped into her car and this man followed her out the parking lot.

Did I remember to try and get his license plate number? - No, sadly I did not.

Did I disregard what the grocery store manager said - even though I knew he was wrong and just call the police myself? No, I did not.

Did I later call the police, just to give them the information I had seen, after all, I probably could have identified the man? No. I even talked myself out of that as well.

To this day - I pray that that young lady was not harmed and God was watching over her as He was my daughters and I that day.

14 comments:

Brenda said...

Im so sorry for what you had to go threw. What is this world coming to? This week my family had something happen that will make you sick. my son Chancey is married with a 4 month old son. His wife was passing a photo place in the mall. She had wanted the babies picture made. The guy called her over and ask her for sex? Offered her money and told her how large he was and what he wanted to do with her. My son called me she was so affraid. my family busted up in the mall. Son wanted to kill him.We did file a report. Sad world. We also found out he is on probation.

Robin~Thrifty Miss Priss said...

wow Julie! I can imagine you were so frozen with fear that when the fog cleared you thought of other things you should have done. They say always trust your gut....I should have called the police that day, and calmly waited for them to come in to the store and question the guy!

pedalpower said...

How awful. It's understandable that you did not take action...when you are that upset it's hard to know what to do! God was definitely watching over you that day. Yesterday there was an attempted kidnapping in our town. There are some terrible people out there.

justabeachkat said...

Amazing story. You were so lucky. I sure hope the young lady was too.

Hugs!
Kat

Angela (Cottage Magpie) said...

What a terrifying story! I, too, am just glad you were okay and hope the other lady was as well. ~A

Diane said...

Oh my gosh, how scary! I think as women we have to be so mindful of what is going on around us. Especially when we have small children with us and couldn't just run as easily. What a sad and scary world we live in :( Diane

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

We all need to really listen to that inner voice!

Amy at Bunny Rose Cottage said...

Oh Julie how how awful! You must have been terrified, I cant even imagine that. I am always scared, especially at night when I walk out of a store or something by myself that someone would be waiting for a woman alone to come out. I am so glad you got away safely with your girls. I too hope nothing happened to the other women~

hugs to you and thank you for sharing this~
Amy

restyled home said...

Thank goodness you were o.k. Just the fact that he zeroed in on you despite your having two small children with you proves that he was more than just a freak...he was a dangerous freak.
I, too believe in listening to one's inner voice. I read Gavin DeBecker's book about just that topic, and how to protect ourselves in dangerous situations. It is called, THe Gift of Fear, and every woman should read it!

Linda

Rapunzel said...

What a terrifying story! I'm so glad that you were ok, though surely shaken!

Splaneyo said...

You know hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes situations are so unimaginable that it is hard to know how to react, but what you say is true - always listen to that little voice.
Heather

The Urban Chic said...

Julie, how awful for you. This used to happen frequently when I was a city letter carrier---there are a lot of freaks in the world. Glad you are safe and hope the girl is too. Robin McGraw's book talks about a woman's gut instinct and we should listen to it.

Nancy said...

Thank goodness for little voices to keep us safe and out of harm's way. Thanks for visiting.... maybe I'll get back on the blog wagon...

Killi said...

Sometimes those who should know better don't: it was a Ban Garda (woman police) who asked me why I hadn't left my house to get the number plate of the person driving the intruder who had tried to gain entry to my house at 2.30 that morning when he returned at 11am! This intruder (would be) had bragged to me on a previous occasion that he had outstanding sexual assault charges against him in a different county & told me how he assaulted the lady who runs our village shop. I knew his story was pure imagination as I knew the shop & layout & had had the story from a reliable source a few days before his first appearance up here. This second time he had purposely come to see me after getting out of prison, the first time he claimed to be up here looking for someone who left my house 12 years ago & whom I did not know. At 2.30 it took the Gards 3/4 hour to reach me, 1 station being 12 miles away & the one I'm supposedly covered by being 16! That was on emergency. The male Gard I spoke with when I was rung bacvk was glad I'd stayed in the house after screaming st the second man like a Banshee.

Your concern at the time was for your daughters & other things fly out of your mind. First time that man came I had a male friend sleeping on the sofa & wasn't afraid until afterwards. The second time there was myself & 13 year old daughter (plus several dogs) in the house.

Nobody told me about my ex, not his mother, his father, his first wife or anyone in the music world in which we moved. & when I ran with my bleeding 5 year old to a neighbour's house, they didn't want to be involved until I scvreamed in their driveway as he tried dragging me aw3ay by my hair & then ran back to my house & slammed the door...

I hope I never meet wife no 3 or I'd feel duty bound to warn her, but she'll think I'm just a jealous bitter old (47!) crone. My parents asked me what they should get for his birthday & I told them he'd be gone before then, but had no idea my younger daughter would be scarred as a result