I was stabbed in my Syracuse apartment

I opened my eyes and saw a guy on my bed

Sunday, December 13th, 2015.

Finals were coming up and the pressure was getting to me. My first project was due on Tuesday and I hadn’t started anything. I decided to lock myself in my room and kept going from midnight up until 5am.

I’m usually nocturnal, so sleeping that late isn’t uncommon for me. When I do sleep that late, I tend to get knocked out and not even the loudest noise could wake me. However, to my dismay, I was awoken by something a bit unexpected.

My memory is kind of fuzzy from this night, mostly because of how tired I was. I thought I was dreaming. I was half asleep when I felt something or someone touching my head – a force over me. I wasn’t trying to understand what was going on or what exactly was touching me, because it was a dream, right? Dreams aren’t supposed to make sense.

But then the force got a little stronger and a little more prevalent. I started to feel it more, but still, I was asleep…my eyes were closed. I just remember myself trying to slap away whatever force was hovering over my head. Mere seconds into my half-dream half-reality episode, I felt a sharp pain puncture the back of my neck. I quickly realized it was real. I opened my eyes, and saw a guy on my bed. Adrenaline rushed through my veins, and all that came out of me were hysterical screams.

That’s when I knew I had been stabbed.

He jumped off my bed, grabbed my wallet from my desk and ran out of my room. For some reason, I decided to chase him. I followed him outside my room screaming, still in shock and still not understanding what was going on. He opened the front door to my apartment, turned around, stared at me for three seconds, and rushed out. It felt like the longest three seconds of my life.

By this time, my three roommates all came out of their rooms in response to my screams. I began hyperventilating. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had just been stabbed.

“Guys, I just got stabbed. Someone was in my room, he was on my bed, he stole my wallet and he stabbed me.” I shouted.

My roommates were dazed and confused, to say the least. They thought I was hallucinating or had awoken from a bad dream. And honestly, I think I did too. It was only when I reached for the back of my neck and revealed to them my bloody hand, that they believed me. They quickly grabbed me to check on the wound, and called 911 to report the incident.

In the meantime, I was having an internal struggle – I was still in shock. What just happened? Who was this guy? Why did he stab me?

My brain tried to muster all the possible reasons for why this had happened to me, and who this person could be. I remember always telling myself how these things don’t happen and would never happen – I couldn’t believe it.

While we were waiting for the ambulance to arrive, the pain from my wound started to ache. I felt my whole body closing in on the wound. I was nauseous and dizzy. I knew it was just a matter of time before I fainted. I tried to stay strong and soon enough the ambulance came and rushed me to the emergency room. Everything after that point was just an emotional rollercoaster.

I was trying to manage coming to terms with what had just happened by ignoring the sharp pain in the back of my neck, and praying that I wasn’t terribly injured so I would make it out OK. To top it all off, I had to try  and answer police officers’ questions as accurately as possible. After getting three stitches in the back of my neck I was released from the hospital later that day.

Although the image of him standing in front of my apartment door looking back at me was so clear in my head, his face was obscure. I was able to remember his features, but not his face. The shock of the situation had overcome my cognizant abilities.

I’m from Jordan, so when this happened I wasn’t able to see my parents for another week or so. It was hard on them, like it would be for any parent. I didn’t want too many people talking about it, so that they didn’t have a constant reminder of what had happened. It was easy to keep it on the down-low here at SU. The police statements and news articles didn’t disclose my name and I only shared the incident with my close friends.

But of course, word gets out fast and a number of people I hadn’t told suddenly found out. However, everyone was very sympathetic and supportive and was only looking to make sure I was doing well. But believe it or not, news actually spread faster thousands of miles away in Jordan than it did here in Syracuse. I received numerous Facebook messages from people back home asking me to explain what had actually happened and how I’ve been doing since. It was weird at first, because it isn’t a very pleasant thing to be getting attention for.

I didn’t want to go back home and have the first thing people say to me be, “I heard you got stabbed, what happened?!”.

By the time I got back, I had the exact details memorized by heart, because of how many times I had to tell the story. It was a bit overwhelming at first, until it became bearable.

Although what happened to me was an unfortunate event, I kept telling myself, it could have been worse. The police managed to locate and arrest the guy who did this to me. I have never seen him or met him in my life, which makes me wonder until now why he did what he did.

I live in an apartment complex that is not affiliated with the university, but is within walking distance from the campus. Nobody can get into the building without a key, unless someone lets you in, and there are security cameras everywhere. I started to question whether or not I was safe in my own home, living minutes away from a student-populated area.

I am a relatively unemotional person – it takes a lot for something to phase me. And luckily, with the support of my friends and family, this did not phase me. I used to think “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” was the most clichéd thing anyone could say. But this did not kill me, and it did indeed make me stronger.

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