My mother & my two sisters went to Philadelphia to visit my nephew for Thanksgiving and the trip turned out to be more of an adventure than any one could have planned.
I was told by both sisters, upon their return, "Mom is a horrible back seat rider/driver". This is something I already knew but in my case, she's usually in the front seat! She expresses her displeasure with your driving abilities in a myriad of ways. She grabs the overhead handle when you round a curve faster than 5 mph, she has a sudden, mildly audible, intake of breath ( read as gasp) when she believes you're not going to stop in time or the lane change, you or the driver in front of you just executed, was too close or unnecessary. Those are her most annoying quirks, unfortunately there are other smaller things such as, brake pedal operation on the passenger's side, constant glancing at the speedometer, and of course the caring comments of concern a mother makes--"Aren't you going a little too fast?", "Don't you think you're following a little too close?" "Why are we going this way?". In my mother's defense, she is nearly 71, has clear vision in only one eye and has lived alone for over 25 years. To say the least, she is accustomed to her way of doing things, including driving.
But this wasn't the worst part of the story, they were verbally accosted by a "gentleman" with a history of mental illness while attempting to take family photos in front of a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. The streets in the city of Brotherly Love were not very loving at that particular moment. The man was of course vulgar but also physically threatening, so much so that my youngest sister ran into a nearby store, dragging mom behind her, shouting for someone to call the police. She then went back to the street to grab our middle sister, who was engaged in "conversation", if you will, with the gentleman and dragged her into the store as well. The enraged man charged into the store after them. No one inside the store had bothered to call the police (apparently an every day occurrence?), but fortunately there was an off duty police officer in the store who heard the commotion and took charge of the situation. Physically removing the man from the store and then doing his best to calm my family and reassure them the incident was over. He was kind enough to escort them back to their hotel and apologized more than once for what had just happened to them.
As you might suspect, once they were safe inside their hotel room, the tears and emotions flowed. Every one was glad to be safe and glad to be headed for home the next morning. My middle sister said, "I can't explain it to you. I can't put into words how it felt but I can tell you, I won't be the same because of it."
I can certainly understand how she feels, I have experienced a traumatic life changing event. I'm sure that others who have experienced a high emotion situation feel the same, you can't explain it, you just feel it and you know it has changed you.
I am thankful my family is home safely and I pray that man will find the help he needs before he traumatizes others.