By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Are you undergoing any kind of therapy?
I just left one program up in Santa Barbara where they helped me re-learn basic skills like using a telephone and going to the bank. I am now starting a new program, and it's four hours of reading a day. It's very intensive and I'm really excited about it because I need that hope. I try to look for things that might give me some hope, and that's one of them.
I just found out recently that I'm not going to get my sight back, which means I can't go to the movies, and I'll probably never drive again. I was just devastated. And I was thinking, okay, I have to think of something positive, and so I started focusing on this idea of learning to read. I really hope that does work out. I feel like my brain is wanting to get back what it lost. I want that to happen.
What's been the most frustrating thing for you about your recovery?
The most frustrating thing is the sight because I know I'm never going to get it back. When I look at you I see half the picture. It's like if you looked at a circle, one half would be gone. One half is always gone. When I found out that was permanent I was horrified, horrified. It feels like, how are you gonna do anything? That's the most devastating thing.
You're a voiceover artist. Do you take any comfort in the fact that you still have your voice?
I do. That's why I'm so desperate to get back to reading again because before I can really get back into voiceover, I have to learn to read again. That's a challenge. It's extremely slow.
Given what you've been through, you've set some pretty high goals for yourself. Are you being realistic?
All of this is incredibly frustrating, I used to be such a smart guy. I don't even know what the times tables are anymore. Everything was destroyed. Sometimes it's so depressing I think, How the hell am I ever going to get anywhere? Maybe I should move to Costa Rica and drink beer for the rest of my life. Because it's damn hard.
When I think of everything I'm going to have to go through I think, God, that's going to take years to get through all that. How in the hell am I going to do it? I usually close my eyes and fall asleep. I have to be in a sort of denial because it's way too much.
In the beginning I wanted to do everything, and I was going insane because it was way too much. And so I figured, okay, just do one little thing at a time. But even that, sometimes I just feel like, oh, fuck it. I don't want to do anything. I just want somebody to take me away and send me into oblivion.
What do you think should happen to your attackers?
Everybody says, Oh, it's going to be so great. They're gonna get, what's it called, "aggravated mayhem." And oh, that's a wonderful thing. And I'm like, Yeah, it's wonderful, but I'm still in the same situation. And who cares what happens to them?
Obviously I do care, and it would be great if they were locked up for a long time. But it's not going to make me that happy. Even if they only get 10 years, whatever, I'm still in the same situation. It's not going to help me at all. They're just idiots. That's all they are. Just idiots. It's very unfortunate that they had to do what they did to me.
But it's not like now I'm okay because they're going to prison for life. Even if they had money, which they don't, and could give me $5 million, it wouldn't make any difference because I can't read and I can't speak and I can't do all of these things that I used to be able to do. That is what really sucks.