The End of Trauma

Susie Kahlich
5 min readJan 22, 2023

What happens when you revisit the site of a violent event 23 years later?

Photo by Aleksandr Ledogorov on Unsplash

I’ve been in Los Angeles this week to close a kind of a loop. This is the city where my life was set on a completely different path than the reason I came here for, and changed the nature of who I am.

I arrived in Los Angeles in 1997 with my sights set on becoming a screenwriter. I did the normal new-in-town screenwriter things — I went to networking events, wrangled tickets to movie premieres, joined writer’s groups, and got suckered into my fair share of speed pitch fests.

By 2000 I felt I kind of had an idea of my career path, was working on some short films I had shot to see if my screen writing actually played on the screen, and was starting to think seriously about finding a life partners, starting a family… the typical stuff of future plans.

But in July 2000 my life took a completely different turn. All it took was 15 minutes for all of my dreams, all of my hopes, and all of my plans for my future to be completely wiped out, thanks to the stranger who broke into my apartment in Hollywood at the time and try to kill me. (I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into details here.)

However, that event changed the course of my life not only in destroying my dreams, but also in accelerating my entry into martial arts. I say…



Susie Kahlich

CEO of SINGE | Founder of Pretty Deadly Self Defense @ | Former producer of art podcast Artipoeus: art you can hear @