When I was in my early 20s - circa 2003 - I lived in a suburb of Atlanta that was generally considered safe to live. Since I was 18, I had always lived on my own in various apartments. This was my first ‘ground floor’ apartment, and I remember talking to my mom about it and receiving a warning about the added dangers of living on the ground floor. I shrugged it off because the excitement of not lugging 40lb bags of kitty litter and groceries up 3 flight of stairs was enough to offset any potential danger (plus I was 22-ish and what did mom know anyway).

I had a really good day-job but loved to party so I thought getting a 2nd job at night at the local pub as a bar back was a good idea. I got to hang out in my fave local spot, free drinks, friends...no brainer. After my second night on the job, i went home around 1:30, flopped on the bed and went right to sleep. At some point in the night I woke up hearing my cat meowing and felt a presence in the room and on my body. I turned my head to the left and there was a man kneeling beside me at the bed. I began flailing - by this time my cat was meow-screaming - and the man turned around and ran out of my room. I jumped up out of my bed to run (to the phone? after the guy? to a friends?) I don’t know where but I started to run, and when I did, all of my clothing fell off me onto the ground. I was standing there naked. After getting over the initial shock I went into my living room and saw the patio door open, where he must have ran out (may got in also?) My cat was walking in circles, panting, meowing, she was in just as much shock as I was. I went back to my room - still naked - saw my kitchen shears on the floor. I looked at my clothing. This person was next to my bed, cutting my clothing off of me while I slept.

I call the police and they come out to investigate and take a report. The CSI folks were there dusting for prints. They brought in a K-9. It was so surreal. I went to the jail and looked at line ups, sat in the back of police cars to have follow up interviews and looked at pictures, but I couldn’t identify the assailant. I’ll never forget the dark polo shirt and backwards cap he wore, but the face is a blur.

Shortly after the time after the incident, there was a murder in my building. I got TF out and moved to a 4th floor apartment on the other side of town.