LA CRESCENT, Minnesota (WXOW) – Perhaps no one can better empathize with the families impacted by Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., than Julia Vojtsek.
Vojtsek was inside the now-infamous theater in Aurora, Colo., when a gunman entered and killed 12 people in July.
Her boyfriend, John Larimer, a U.S. Navy Sailor assigned to a military base in Aurora, was killed in the shooting.
Vojtsek said she doesn't expect to ever forget the events of that night.
But she added she has found some methods that helped her to cope with the tragedy, and hopes the families impacted by the events in Newtown will likewise be able to slowly begin the recovery process.
"To the parents of the children there, I would say be patient with the kids," Vojtsek said. "For many months after (the theater shooting) I wasn't able to do anything. You have to go at a really slow pace. I don't think it's good to stay busy afterwards, because I think you need to start grieving."
"They should get into group therapy and counseling, that's the number one thing you have to do immediately," she added. "I didn't get into counseling right away and I was having really bad nightmares. I still do, but they've gotten a lot better. They're a lot more infrequent."
Still, Vojtsek added some of the trauma inflicted by the shooting has been particularly hard to erase.
"I'm never going to be the same," Vojtsek said. "Every time I'm in large crowds I get scared. Or if I'm in a train or bus I get scared. Just fears like that."
Vojtsek said the Colorado shooting also
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