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Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Connection, Family, Lessons, Life | 0 comments

Day 49- Freaking the Fuck Out

So tonight (Wednesday night) I experienced the worst thing I’ve ever experienced—EVER.

For this, I’m grateful. The outcome was favorable, but the twenty minutes of not knowing was HELL. It was a mix between chaos and focus.

So what happened?

My little brother (27) lives in New York City. We’ve been talking nearly daily for the past few weeks, including last night.

Last night he’d gone to a Solidisco show somewhere in the South end of Manhattan. While making his way back home, he and I were on FaceTime. He was slightly intoxicated and kept getting turned around with where he was walking. So, I hopped on my iPhone’s mapping app to find out about where he was. He showed me some awesome sights, and I tried to locate them on the map.

Tonight, he FaceTimed me and made a joke of having this be a regular thing. Two nights in a row, he’s gone to a concert in the same area, and afterwards, while walking around, FaceTimed me. But tonight he wasn’t headed home, he was headed to a pizza place. And not any old pizza place, a very specific one he loved. He even walked by a pizza joint and talked to me about what a snob he was that he didn’t want that pizza, he wanted the pizza from the place he was craving.

Something I’d never shared with him before (so as not to have him become afraid and accidentally manifest it), was a fear I had of being on FaceTime or on the phone with him while he’s walking around NY and having him get attacked. To me, that would be the worst thing EVER. So tonight, I asked him if he carried any protection while he walked around at night. He pulled out a condom. We laughed. But I inquired more seriously, and he told me there were girls walking around near him holding their heels—the sign of a seemingly safe environment. Right?

Well, I guess not.

Even though I dropped it at that, within probably three minutes of that convo, he got attacked.

I heard a scuffle and the image went out.

I heard him yell, “No! No! No! No!”

The image was out, but I could hear everything.

I said very clearly, “Coleman. Coleman. Coleman. Coleman.”

He did not respond.

I heard someone running and breathing.

They had stolen his phone.

I threatened them.

“You motherfucker turn that fucking image on right now. You say something to me you motherfucker!!! Talk to me!!! Show me your fucking face!!!!”

They hung up.

I freaked the fuck out.

Screaming bloody murder to myself,  I called 911.

I live on the West Coast, but it was my first inclination.

Immediately I tried to tell them what had happened.

“I was on the phone with my brother who lives in New York and he was attacked.”

She needed to know where in NY.

With a badly shaking hand I pulled up my map’s history and located where we were looking the night before.

In the state of increasing adrenaline and shock, I had a hard time recalling where we ended up on the map. But I got it and attempted to relay the info. The officer still couldn’t figure out which precinct in NY to get in touch with.

Embodying complete calmness as a necessity, I got more specific.

She was able to get in touch with officers there. She put me on hold.

While I was on hold, I googled pizza places near that location.

I found the name of the joint he’d been heading towards.

I was screaming into the phone, but no one could hear me; I was on hold.

Flashing back into panic I hung up.

I called them back.

Someone else answered but was privy to the circumstances at hand.

Cutting the lady off in the beginning of her trying to soothe me, I insistently told her the name of the pizza place he was heading. I told her to tell the other lady, and get that info to the NYC police.

She did.

After talking with her for a while, going in and out of sanity, I wanted to call our mom. The 911 lady gave me the number for who to get in touch with in NY. Told me what extension to dial, and gave me the name of who to ask for. I asked her if I should call them soon? She said I could call them now if I wanted to.

I hung up.

I dialed my mom.

I hung up.

I didn’t want to put our mom through what I was going through without knowing what was up, not just yet.

I prayed. “God, please just let him be beat up. Please just let him have gotten the shit kicked out of him.” (I’ll admit, a strange prayer in retrospect.)

I dialed the NYC police.

We went over the same basic info, I got more specific with them and gave them street names. I narrowed his location down to a six- to eight-block radius. The officer said to call them back in a few minutes.

I called our mom.

I told her to go into the bathroom and sit down—NOW.

She did and I told her what I knew, which was all I’d heard and all I’d done at this point.

Of course, I began to panic again, and was likely hyperventilating, but not to the point of non-control. I wast just FREAKING OUT.

She calmed me and we decided to bomb the internet with help calls summoning people to that area if they were around. I needed to mobilize whatever help out there I could find online.

Funny enough, for a moment, we both stopped and talked about the fact that if Coleman was okay, he’d kill us for what we were in the process of doing.

But of course he wouldn’t.

Plus I didn’t care. I didn’t know if he was dead or alive. Did he just get beat up and his phone jacked, or did he get stabbed????? No way to know.


As I throw a bunch of emergency messages out on FB and Twitter, on his page and my own, we started getting a bunch of responses. A friend gets in touch, and I am able to get a phone number for one of Coleman’s good friends out there who lives in the city. I dial the number, but it’s like 2 a.m. out there, and of course there’s no response. As I’m about to put more yelling messages out into cyberspace, Coleman gets in touch telling me to get on iChat.

Thank God.

I find him online.

He’s okay.

They mugged him, stole his phone, but he’s basically okay.

And he wanted me to take down all the posts to FB and Twitter ASAP. Lol.

The response we got at that hour was incredible.

THANK YOU to all who are reading this who responded with love and assistance during those crazy fucking moments of Emily’s worst nightmare.

And to Ben Kahn, who after finding out Coleman was okay, got in touch with me to make sure he had a place to stay, enough money, etc. Seriously, that was AMAZING. So much love to you for that. THANK YOU.

At this point, my brother and I were on iChat, both spreading the word that he’s okay. We got my mom on the video chat so she would know, too.

I check out his fat lip, bloody teeth, chewed up knuckles, and get the full story. He was hit from behind, both sides of his head and knocked onto the ground.

They tried to grab his iPhone, and like a dumb-ass he held on tight.

He explained to me that his, “No! No! No! No!” was out of disbelief, rather than injury.

THANK GOD again.

I also found out that apparently, within eleven minutes of the attack, he’d emailed me that he was okay.

Of course, when I heard a ding on my phone that I received an email, I barely paid it any attention, figuring it was an email—lowest priority at that moment.

I was in GO mode—full throttle, send out the troops, mobilize all units—NOW mode.

Instead of being relieved within only eleven minutes, I was on a panic/calm roller-coaster for twenty full minutes. The word “relief” does not do justice how I felt after finding out he was safe.

My body is exhausted.

Coleman is okay.

I think I’m okay.

Actually, I figured I’d be writing tonight about my exciting tomorrow.

I’ve always wanted to try a sensory deprivation tank. My mom goes to one in Portland, Oregon, and I’ve done a bunch of research on them and the experience they offer. I’ve searched for float tanks near me, but they’ve all been a minimum of three hours away via car.

To my surprise, this morning after a group exercise class called “Balletone” (yes, it’s as awesome as it sounds), I saw a poster for a new spa at my gym that has a float tank!

What a joyous discovery this was for me. I only dreamed of making sensory deprivation a part of my life.

So tomorrow morning I have an appointment for my first float.

And tonight I had a traumatic event occur.

I’m guessing/hoping the float tomorrow will help process this trauma.

Again, I’m grateful for the outcome, but still, hearing my little brother’s voice screaming “No!” in my head is already haunting me.


More therapy here I come. [Sideways face dude]

Thanks again to all those who got in touch so quickly. Coleman and I really appreciate all the love and help you offered.

I am exhausted.






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