Being Afraid

Honestly, being afraid is second nature to me. Of course I am afraid of silly things like being late, getting lost, and saying the wrong thing. I often hear noises when I am alone at the house that cause my ears to perk up and make me sit up just a little bit straighter. I tend to feel that, because I don't look my age (and I am female), people will take advantage of me… They will sense that I cannot protect myself, which is generally a feeling I have anyway.

When I lived with my parents, there were definitely a few times when I was alone at the house, especially while growing up, but I didn't seem to worry as much. It might have been because we lived out in the middle of nowhere (or at least it felt like nowhere) … or maybe it was because I always knew someone would be home shortly. Whatever the reason, I definitely preferred the solitude of a quiet and empty house, and I rarely felt scared or worried that the unexpected might happen.

After getting married, I moved into a townhome apartment complex with Justin. My first issue with Justin's apartment were the bugs; I love my husband, but seriously he needed help in the cleaning department. I really did not like having gone from a pristine house (that I didn't have to clean!) to a bug-ridden apartment. The last straw came when I saw a roach crawling along the bedroom floor. ICK! (And then a bit later I saw one in a kitchen drawer!) After one month of having lived in the townhome apartment with Justin (and the roaches), I knew moving was imminent.

To top it off, Justin had creepy old neighbors that would flirt with me and talk to me every time I emerged making me want to hide away more and more and more. And the noises! There were so many! It was this neighbor or that neighbor or the other neighbor! With no real windows to see out the front, you can imagine that I was on edge most of the time. Any excuse to go visit with my parents, hang out with friends, go to work, or shop when I didn't have money were abused. I did not like where we were living. (And I should mention I hate apartment complexes in general. They are all the same, and they all suck. Give me a rental house!)

So that's when we moved. Yes there were roaches to begin with and noises to get used to, but the roaches could be controlled and the noises were far fewer. I thought for once I would feel safe.

Not so much.

Just as the roaches were being tamed, and I was getting used to the new noises, Justin woke me up one morning to inform me that my car trunk was open and had been gone through. Considering I had left some cash and my ID in the car, this was not a pleasant discovery for me. (Is it ever good?) A police report was filed, a new ID was obtained, and, as fate would have it, I had the strange overwhelming sense of being violated. For the next day or so, every sound was amplified and sleep was harder to come by. I worried that whoever had gotten into my car would also try to get into the house.

And that Friday, when I received a knock on the door followed by the power going off, I feared that that was exactly what was happening. (Maybe I've watched too much Castle?!) What did I think was going to happen? Rape. Being robbed at gunpoint. Feeling defenseless. Yes, all of that was going through my mind.

I threw my laptop under my bed thinking that would somehow save it (lol) as I attempted to figure out how I would save myself. I told my mom, who I was on the phone with at the time, to call the police. They were so helpful. Do you know what they did? They said "it would be better for your daughter to call the police." SOOOO unhelpful. Y'know… just frickin' send a patrol car out to the house and be done with it! No one has time for this bs! (Yep, I definitely have watched too much Castle. lol.)

So I called the police … as I watched the "intruder" drive away. In the meantime, do you know what had happened? Absolutely nothing. The power came back on, and that was it. As I would later discover, the "intruder" was someone from the electric company who had failed to identify himself (and was driving an unmarked vehicle). Even worse, when we contacted the electric company, they denied having even been out at the house that day! *sigh*

After that crazy incident, Justin spoke with our landlord who set us up with a home alarm system. With home invasions skyrocketing in our area within the last two months, it has definitely been nice and a bit more comforting knowing that there is a device in my home that will make a very loud noise if someone even attempts to enter. And in fact, someone did attempt to enter while we were gone on vacation. While nervously waiting to hear back from the police, there was also peace of mind knowing that the alarm had worked and our possessions were probably safe because of it. The fact that the police arrived within 2 minutes made things all the better.

Is there a time, a place, and a reason to be afraid? Yes. The point is to minimize and attempt to control how often and when you are afraid. When I am worried about being late, I leave early. When I worry about getting lost, I use google maps and "drive it" using the road view function. When I'm afraid of saying the wrong thing…I probably say it anyway. Then I immediately feel bad or humiliated and hide in the corner for the rest of the day. ;) I definitely have a knack for saying or doing the wrong things without meaning to. (So if you feel the same way, don't feel alone!) And as for protecting myself and my possessions… Seriously, you just do the best you can. Take a self defense course, get an alarm system, take a buddy, and get lots of hugs. :) Everything will be ok; I promise.*

*If something bad does happen to you, please don't sue me.
**This blog post is part of Story of My Life's Blogtember challenge. Visit her website to find out more and participate yourself. :)

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