How Getting Punched In The Face By A Stranger Restored My Faith in Humanity

punched2

Last weekend a stranger punched me in the face for no reason and broke my eye socket. I was walking in one direction and he was walking in the other, and as our paths crossed, he punched me. While I’ve feared many things since moving to New York several years ago, this was not of them. Sure, getting attacked was always an option. But in a subway station at night. Or on a quiet side street. Even traveling home while drunk. But not at 6 PM on a crowded street when it’s still sunny out. Not when I was walking through my own neighborhood that I’d walked through hundreds of time. And most certainly not when I’d watched every episode of SVU and thought I’d seen all the ways you could get attacked in New York City. Random assault in broad daylight was certainly not one of them.

One second I was walking home and planning what I was going to wear to dinner and the next second I was sitting on the sidewalk crying. I guess there were seconds in between where I got punched, where my sunglasses cut my face, where my face hit a parked car, where I scraped my leg, where I fell to the ground. But my memory fast forwards through those seconds now. I prefer to remember it as I was walking and then I was sitting. I was upright and then I wasn’t. I was on my way home and then I was on my way to the emergency room. I know that in time I have to think about it, I have to cry about it, I have to accept it. But for now I’m fast forwarding. I’m trying to forget the fact that someone put his fist into my face with all his force for absolutely no reason.

Instead I’m focusing on what happened next, what happened after a stranger punched me, what happened after I got assaulted. And that is that people rushed to my aid. Someone ran to get ice, someone rubbed my back and someone wiped blood off my face. Someone called 911 and someone helped catch the guy who did it. Someone offered to call a friend and someone offered to come with me in the ambulance to the hospital. During the scariest moment of my life, strangers rushed to my aid. And I honestly cannot express in words how comforting that is after something like this happens to you. To know if that if one bad stranger hurts you, several good strangers will help you. For all the complaints about New York City being a cruel and heartless place, it really pulls through when you need it the most. And I needed it the most as I sat on that sidewalk trying to figure out exactly what just happened to me.

I owe a lot of thank yous to a lot of people and I don’t even know who they are or how to reach them. So instead I plan to pass it on, to be a better stranger to people around me, to be more aware of people in need. It’s corny and sappy, but I like to think that getting punched in the face is as good of an excuse as any to drop the snark and be a nice person. Even if it’s only until my black eye heals.

Share This Post:
    • Alana Vincenza

      This whole thing is so scary! But it’s so great that all of those people stopped to help you. I really hope that if anything like this ever happened to me, I would be surrounded my supportive strangers. And your eye is looking so much better, must be those Wolverine healing powers!

      • Jenni

        That’s what the catscan revealed: one broken bone and one Wolverine gene.

    • Cassandra Hough

      Jesus H. Christ! I hope you’re feeling better, and honestly this was a (at first uncomfortable and enraging) beautiful post. You experienced the best and worst of humanity in the span of like 5 minutes. I wish I could buy you a drink.

      • Jenni

        Are they not shippable?

    • Kate

      I’m so sorry that this happened to you, but happy that you were surrounded by people with good hearts and quick thinking!

      • Jenni

        Everything moved so fast, I’m still so impressed.

    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      Holy shitsnacks! That is so awful and scary that someone punched you, but awesome that people came to your aide. I hope you have a speedy recovery!

      • Jenni

        So many great people, I really hope one of them somehow sees this.

    • Ned

      Get better soon. Sorry that happened to you

      • Jenni

        Thanks Ned.

    • Meredith Hirt

      Ahh what a crazy experience, I hope you’re feeling much better!

      • Jenni

        I am feeling so much better already.

    • http://flockeoseagulls.flavors.me/ Frances Frumpy Mumps Locke

      OMG that was awful. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’m glad people were there to help you. One of my favorite parts of NYC is how people come together during a tragedy. Did they arrest the bastard?

      • Jenni

        Yep, he’s away so I’m very appreciative of that.

      • Kalcen

        You are aware that the aspect of looking up someones kids on the internet is not against ANY commenting policy on Mommyish. Not to mention the common sense thing of which it is not illegal to look up people on the internet either.

        If Aimee Ogden is going to live her life so freely on the internet then that is her own problem.

        You still had no right to ban me. I did not violate any commenting policy/agreement. Not to mention that Mommyish doesn’t even have a commenting policy.

      • Kalcen

        Actually, they do. But I’ll save you the trouble and provide you with the section that will get people banned for their behavior:

        5. End User Conduct.

        (A) End User shall use the Site for non-commercial, lawful purposes only. End User shall not post or transmit through the Site any material which violates or infringes in any way upon the rights of others, which is unlawful, threatening, abusive, defamatory, invasive of privacy or publicity rights, vulgar, obscene, profane or otherwise objectionable, which encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, gives rise to civil liability or otherwise violates any law, or which, without DEFY MEDIA’s express prior approval, contains advertising or any solicitation with respect to products or services. Any conduct by End User that in DEFY MEDIA’s discretion restricts or inhibits any other End User from using or enjoying the Site will not be permitted.

        Read more: http://www.mommyish.com/terms/#ixzz3BkYVcOBt

        Please do your research before posting. I’d hate people to think we’re the same person and mistake me for an obtuse imbecile.

    • Sarah

      I admire you so much for focusing on the positive. It’s definitely not an easy thing to do. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you recover ASAP!

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • Samantha Escobar

      I’m so glad that people were there to help you, but I am also still so angry for you even though I know it’s not my situation to be angry about. But reading this made me tear up SO DO NOT LOOK OVER AT ME AT MY DESK.

      • Jenni

        That would have a lot more meaning if you didn’t yell it at me everyday

      • Samantha Escobar

        For the record, I can look at you and type at the same time, so that’s why I say that.

    • Maria Guido

      Ugh – I am so sorry this happened to you, but I think it’s great that you are choosing to focus on the wonderful people who showed up. That is a fantastic way to look at life and will get you through shit times so much better – hell it will get you through life in general so much better. I’m glad you’re okay!

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • Margie Vanz

      Were you the pregnant woman in Bed Stuy? I just saw that on the news! If it’s not you, I guess it’s happening a lot? :(

      • Samantha Escobar

        She’s not, but it’s also horrible that that happened, ughhh :(

      • keanesian

        Yeah, that was a weird scary coincidence.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Pure insanity. Good for you though.

      • Jenni

        Please stop trolling me in my time of need.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Never.

      • Samantha Escobar

        Real friends troll whenever necessary. <3

      • CMJ

        I can troll you with gifs of your fav celeb….So, the good kind of trolling.

    • Heather C

      I’m sorry this happened to you, it’s truly awful. I’m glad that there are good people in this world who ran to help you, and have semi-restored my faith in humanity. Get better soon.

      • Jenni

        So many good people, it really did make me feel better right away.

    • keanesian

      I can’t believe how positive you are about this. So impressed. I definitely would not have come to this conclusion in the same situation.

      • Jenni

        If I didn’t stay positive, I never would’ve made it into the office for Bagel Friday. Capitalized, because it’s that important to me.

    • http://overthecuckoonest.blogspot.com/ Wicked Prophet Kay Sue

      So instead I plan to pass it on, to be a better stranger to people around me, to be more aware of people in need.

      This sentiment is beautiful. If more people committed to being a better stranger, the world would be a much kinder and more compassionate place.

      I can’t believe this happened, and I am sending you all of my best wishes for a speedy recovery in every way. (hug)

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • http://misuser.blogspot.com Alex Lee

      I wholeheartedly await your fully-healed snark-face.

      Best wishes for a fast recovery. Get better soon, Jenni.

      • Jenni

        I’ve already gone for too long without making fun of rich people I don’t know…stressing me out.

    • http://fakegeekmom.com Aimee

      You are a superhero of positive thinking! I can’t think of a non-weird way to write say that I hope your face feels better soon, so I’ll just say exactly that.

      • Jenni

        My face is already feeling so much better, thank you!

    • Megan

      I am so sorry! Wishing you a speedy recovery and I am in awe of your amazing attitude.

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • Kelly

      Truly unbelievable. But–what a lovely way to recover from it. Best wishes.

      • Jenni

        Thanks!

    • Christine

      You have a great outlook on this. To help heal faster, eat a lot of pineapple and put Arnica gel on the bruise.

      • Jenni

        Oo I hadn’t heard pineapple yet, going to buy some tonight, thank you!

      • Krusticle

        Also, bromelain capsules, which contains pineapple enzymes, help clear bruising and helps healing like arnica. How awful! Please give us an update as to what happens to that asshole!

    • CMJ

      Your ability to stay strong through all of this is truly inspiring. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      WTF J. You did not tell me about this! You poor thing. I want to go punch everyone on your behest. But yes you have a great attitude but seriously, what the hell is wrong with people? I am so sorry! How freaking scary for you. I hope you feel better and ugh, just awful. I’m sure I will think of how brave you are being but for now I’m just pissed off for you.

      • Jenni

        I’ll do anything to get you back here to comment…AND IT WORKED!

    • Valerie

      Oh Jenni my God!!! I’m sitting here choked up and flustered and PISSED! Why?!?! I’m so sorry, sweetie. Feel better quick.

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • Olivia Wilson

      This was so terrible, but your outlook on it afterward is legitimately inspiring.

    • JenH1986

      I so admire your focus on the positive. I don’t know that I could be that strong. Sending quick healing vibes (both physically and mentally) your way! Long distance hugs!

      • Jenni

        Feeling them strong

    • FemelleChevalier

      O_O That was awful and it’s good that you had immediate help. Get well soon!

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • Bleu Cheese Bewbs

      So sorry that you had to go through this. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

      • Jenni

        Thanks!

    • Véronique the Attachment Shark

      So they caught the guy at least?? Did you get an update on what the fuck is wrong with the guy??

      • Jenni

        I think he’s just your basic crazy guy…but no definitive answer yet.

    • STFUParents

      This is terrible and I don’t know how you can be so positive. If this happened to me, the whole post would be like 3000 expletives mashed together and then a string of angry GIFs. Your write-up was great, and I’m so sorry this happened to you!

      • Jenni

        If I had written it the next day, it would have been all the expletives, repeated several times each.

    • Kalcen

      I’ll give you one guess what the race of the attacker was

      • Choo

        What the fuck? The asshole gene is found equally in every race. How absurd of you to take this story, which should have been horrible, but which the author managed to make positive, and make it a whole new kind of horrible.

      • Kalcen

        “What the fuck? The asshole gene is found equally in every race.”

        Um, no it doesn’t. Statistical data alone proves that the black race is more prone to violence than any other race.

        Hello, the knockout game is predominately only played by black people. Yea, there have been a very short sprinkling here and there that white people have done it…but when the data is more like 95% of the people that play it are black and 5% are white…then it just seems rather foolish to even mention that some white people do it.

      • Choo

        As a person who works in corrections, there are so many things wrong with this that I can’t even begin to point them all out. So you can either remain an ignorant racist or do the research yourself.

      • Kalcen

        Um I have done the research. Statistical data of crimes is a thing that factually exists.

        And black people commit more crimes than any other races.

      • candi514

        No black people are just arrested and incarcerated at a disproportionate rate for many of the same “crimes” white people get warnings for. For example a white teen gets caught with a joint and gets a warning, a black teen caught with a joint will go to jail. It is the racist stigma that still runs rampant in this country that nobody wants to admit is still around.

      • Kalcen

        “No black people are just arrested and incarcerated at a disproportionate rate for many of the same “crimes” white people get warnings for”

        Incorrect. Black people are arrested more often, despite the fact that black people are less populated in the US compared to white people, because they commit more crimes than white people.

        “It is the racist stigma that still runs rampant in this country that nobody wants to admit is still around.”

        It’s actually the stupidity of self awareness stigma that black people refuse to have that would then let them realize that they are predominately violent and are almost all criminals.

        Statistics don’t lie. (you are aware that solid numbers do not matter to statistics, right? And that is why statistics are used, to compensate for the difference of population differences between race to race. A race of 1000 versus a race of 100 is not equal…..but a race of 100% versus a race of 100% is completely equal. If you don’t know statistics then just shut up)

      • Choo

        Truth.

    • Fondue

      What the hell is wrong with some people? I’m so sorry this happened to you, but I am in awe of your positive attitude about the situation. I would likely be pissed at the world (except for the wonderful people who offered assistance or compassion) and have a completely shitty attitude regarding the general public for quite a while. Keep smiling, pretty lady! :)

      • Jenni

        Being helped by so many people so quickly, definitely helped me skip the pissed off at the world part. I’m just lucky it happened when there were so many people around.

    • Dave C

      Such a good story after the assault. Hope you heal up soon.

      • Jenni

        Almost all healed up, thank you!

    • Bethany Ramos

      So sorry this happened, Jenni! Great post.

      • Jenni

        Thanks!

    • Kitsune

      I’m glad they caught him and that so many people stopped to help. Faith in humanity restored. I hope you have a speedy recovery and feel better soon.

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • Sharbf

      Great article! It’s infuriating that this should happen. You are awesome for posting the pictures. Your left eye looks good! Keep icing and taking good care of yourself!

    • Joye77

      I always like to think that the majority of humans are good people but the bad ones always make the news. I love that you are recognizing all the good people that helped you. I am sorry this happened to you and glad they caught the guy.

      • Jenni

        It definitely made me realize there are so many more good people than bad people in the world and I’m lucky I was surrounded by so many when it happened.

    • brebay

      What the everloving????? How absolutely terrifying! Do you have any answers? (Not that there would be an acceptable one,) but that is just terrifying and random! Hope you have a fast and full recovery.

      • Jenni

        No answers yet, and I have a feeling there isn’t going to ever be one that will satisfy me. But I am healing fast and I’m so grateful for that.

      • brebay

        I’m glad to hear that. I was thinking maybe it was that thing people are calling a “game,” I won’t even say it because I think some of the media are feeding it, or just a random psychotic. Either way, I hope you get justice, and I’m glad you’re healing. I also hope your parents are doing okay, as a mother, this is the kind of stuff you lose sleep over imagining happening to your baby in the city, but don’t really expect to happen. Traumatic for them as well, I’m sure. Best wishes for continued recovery!

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      I am blown away by your focus on the positive. Almost three weeks ago, my body reacted to a difficult climb up a difficult fourteener by hosting a contest to see which suddenly-developed ailment could kill me first! I spent two days in the hospital, and the morning after I was released, I went right back to my grouchy ways instead of focusing on how lucky I was to be alive like I probably should have.

      May your recovery be a smooth one, and keep up the happy thoughts!

      • Jenni

        I didn’t realize how lucky I was until the doctors started putting me through tests to rule things out…and that made me realize it could’ve been so much worse.

      • NotTakenNotAvailable

        My hospital visit definitely kept getting worse for that exact reason…the tests kept coming back positive. X( I’m so glad it worked out as well as it could have!

    • wispy

      I cannot believe this and I am so so sorry :( I love this post though and how you found a silver lining.

      • Jenni

        Thank you for reading!

    • Marianna

      I’m sorry you went through this, but glad that the people around you helped you out, and comforted you a bit. Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery!

      • Jenni

        Thank you!

    • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

      Holy shit 0_o What kind of psycho would do that? Is this that stupid “knockout game” I’ve been hearing about? I’m so sorry that happened to you! But very glad people rushed to your aid. I hope you have a speedy recovery and they catch that asshole!

      • Jenni

        I think it was just an isolated incident, a lone psycho if you will

    • footnotegirl

      I think I actually caught myself holding my breath until you got to the sentence about the having gotten caught.

    • http://shelovestocraft.blogspot.com She Loves To Craft

      Very similar thing happened to me in San Francisco, excpet he punched me in the back of the head and knocked me out for a couple seconds. No broken bones, thpugh.

      • Jenni

        It’s so scary! I’m glad you’re okay!

    • Mysty Nyckel

      Goodness!! That is quite something. Well, there are lots of crazies in the world. But for all the crazies, there are 10 times that amount of good, decent, caring people. I am so glad all those lovely individuals came to your rescue! How wonderful is that?! :) If that happened to me, I am sure I would experience a day of depression and self pity, without all those caring souls to instantly pick me back up. I like to tell people, when there is an atrocity in the world, instead of focusing on the people behind it, look at the people in front of it. The volunteers and good souls there to help in any way they can. That is the truth of humanity.
      Anyways, I hope you heal up fast and are ever stronger for it.

    • Dina Hashem

      Oh my gosh Jenni I had no idea this happened!!! I hope you’re feeling better! Getting punched by a stranger is literally my exact paranoid fear walking through the city, I’m terrified it actually happened but glad so many good people are around.

    • TJ

      Holy Crap! I hope you have a speedy recovery and am so glad that nothing more serious happened. Head injuries are so scary! Be well!

    • fsdgsgs
    • fsdgsgs

      I am China seller, We company sell brand clothing , lowest price ,high quality

      have brands: Nike, Adidas, Puma, Gucci, LouisVuitton, Armani, Burberry, Moncler, Ralph

      Lauren, Lacoste, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Abercrombie & Fitch, CalvinKlein,

      Dsquared2, Yves Saint Laurent, Tommy Hilfiger

      Sales all over the world shipping EMS. DHL. TNT. UPS. fedex etc..shipping time 3-7day

      I have all the team uniforms suit,

      My site is http://www.arbossuk.com

    • Great Hall Academy

      I think the majority of the people in the world are good, there are a few bad apples, but on the whole, I think anywhere you live, there will be people to help you.

    • Paul Stein

      Dear Jenni,

      I am so sorry to hear about your attack and I hope you are recovering. On September 3rd, 2014, a far less traumatic event happen to me. It was 12 noon and I was crossing East 35th Street along 3 Avenue. I noticed a man in his early twenties approaching me in a threatening manner. His shoulder was down, his arms were up and his face was angry. The whole thing took less than 15 seconds. I prepared myself for an attack. Luckily, the guy just barked something at me.

      Be strong and get well
      Paul

    • Alyssa Gillon

      The same thing happened to me on Saturday after I left the MoMA on 53rd at 6 PM – a complete stranger punched me in the ear as we crossed paths. Thankfully I wasn’t hurt like this girl was. Just shocked and a little cut where my earring hit my head. I looked back at him, totally jarred, and he just stared at me with hate and disgust over his shoulder as he walked quickly away. What is going on?!