Journal + thoughts on safety

Clouds

Clouds

Not only do I have the mystery bruises all over, but I just finally tried to rub off a colored mark on my thumbnail that’s been there for a couple of days. I ignore marks around my nails because they always rub or wash off eventually, be them dirt (or more likely chocolate) or whatever.

So I tried scraping this mark off and it turns out to be dried blood and there is a pin-prick hole in my nail where obviously something punctured through my nail and into the bed beneath (it looks like there is a sliver in there right now). How did I not feel it happen? Usually nail injuries are so painful.

Oh, well. Anyway. I bicycled to and from work today! The way down took me 40 minutes and the way back took me 60 minutes (it’s uphill on the way back). It’s a bit crazy on one stretch due to the traffic, but I didn’t mind.

I’m having people tell me that I’m being unsafe again. Do any of you guys get told that? I’m told that I don’t feel danger when I should. One of the cars passed so close to me that I probably could have reached out my elbow and touched it. But it’s kind of exciting to be riding in a city. I do wonder if I should get pepper spray or anything, though. I used to ride with a stun gun. I felt less safe on the non-populated roads I used to ride on back Home.

On the other hand, one of the streets I crossed today was the same street where a murder took place yesterday or the day before.

That’s why people are telling me I’m unsafe again. My brother saw the murdered body and was questioned by police due to his physical proximity to the murder. So he and my mom apparently had a conversation about safety during which he apparently told my mom that I have been being an easy target on the trains because I’m small and wear a “large backpack” to work that would apparently make predator humans wonder what I am carrying.

Well at least with the bike, I have a bike bag, so I’m not wearing a back pack.

I don’t know how to explain it. I have certainly experienced moments of complete creep-out. I have sensors. But situations that creep out other people don’t always creep me out, and then I get another lecture. Like the night I was with a group of people and we were walking back to my uncle’s house in the dark (my mom was one of them). There was a stopped car turning around in an intersection and then slowing down kind of unusually. I got lectured for starting to walk on the usual walking path which would have taken me near the vehicle. Apparently I was supposed to have gone the opposite way because the car wasn’t following normal protocol. I had certainly noticed the vehicle and where it was, but I guess I wasn’t too worried. I was with a group, and wasn’t going to go within arm’s reach. But I guess mostly, it was driving behavior that I myself do whenever I have taken a wrong turn or am trying to find my way. So it didn’t necessarily creep me out. If I’d been alone, I’d have been more cautious.

But that’s the wrong thing to say/do. Sometimes it’s frustrating. I lived my whole life until the past 2 years playing by 150% of all safety rules. Maybe I don’t want to live in fear anymore. I don’t mean to do anything stupid. The most scared I’ve been this year was a couple of months back when I decided to walk from the train to a pharmacy by myself. It got dark and I was on a road that turned out to have little traffic. I got scared out of my mind but I wasn’t going to call my uncle to bail me and I didn’t yet know how to use the taxi-like services. I was so scared of the parked vehicles and shrubbery, I ended up walking most of the way in the middle of the road. I decided I’d rather be hit by a car than be attacked by a predator human. It was all fine, in the end. I did have my uncle bail me from the pharmacy when he went to pick up my aunt an hour later.

So yeah, sometimes I do make poor decisions. But bicycling in the city? Maybe I’ll get creamed but somehow it still feels safer than traveling back streets alone in the dark back Home.

I walked with a friend the other night, after music practice. What I haven’t yet told anybody is that we went on an extremely long walk afterward, it was all at night, and I didn’t know where I was, of course, and a lot of the places actually alarmed me because they were not populated (well, not like the heart of the city areas). But then, the views were AMAZING. We traveled up hills, past parks, and could look back out over the city, all lit up in the dark. It was so pretty. We were fine, but I know I cannot tell anybody in my family that I did that. So I’d better not do that again.

Why does my brother have to tell my mom that I’m an easy target on public transportation systems? Okay, I did take the train back at like midnight that night, but then caught a ride back to my uncle’s, so I did not walk home alone. Of course, the ride I caught was one of the taxi-like services, so in other words, a complete stranger.

:::SIGH:::

My poor mom.

I don’t want to be unsafe. But I also don’t want to be afraid. I have lived the beginnings of my life in fear, and kept away from so much. The least safe I have ever been was part of what triggered the beginnings of my divorce.

But I’ve always been told I do not always recognize dangers. And then I also feel danger in SO MANY THINGS that aren’t actually dangerous. It’s not that black and white like other people make it seem.

My mum gave me a book titled, “The Gift of Fear” when I went away to college. I read it, or got through some portion of it, and let me tell you, I do not recommend that book. I understand that our creep-out senses are there for a reason, but holy fuck, if you have any anxieties, this will just make them go out of control, to where you won’t want to speak to anybody or leave your room at all.

You live a life where you treat everybody as a predator human and yourself as a prey at all times. How about instead I work on getting physically stronger, work on feeling more self-confidence. I love self-defense courses and should take more of those. Carry pepper spray. Be prepared. But come on, I don’t want to live where my BODY is on alert mode 100% of the time! That isn’t fair. I am always alert in public. I am always scanning for shifty behavior. Why do I have to treat everyone as if they are actually trying to hurt me?

Save me your fear. I don’t want it. Maybe I’m living with a little bit of increased risk now compared to how I was before, but I am happy with it. I am happy to feel a moment of independence, a moment of freedom. A moment where I can make a decision on my own without everyone jumping all over me about it.

But there’s something else in me that likes to go off radar from time to time. It’s weird. 95% of my time, I wouldn’t mind if I had a tracer on me at all times. Everyone in my life can know where I am and what I’m doing at every second. And then a day will come where I don’t WANT that. I don’t want a SOUL to know where I am or what I’m doing. I want to go completely differently than ever before and have nobody know and nobody there as a back-up and nobody there to bail me and nobody there to call and check in on me.

These are the days that freak my mom out. Actually, she handled the last one I had pretty well, or she didn’t share her fear with me.

Anyway, I am feeling somewhat more myself today. Still a bit out.

In basically all of the short stories I’ve ever written, there’s a main character that’s me and she always runs at some point. Just disappears, where only the reader knows where, the other characters just know to accept it and carry on with their lives and she returns back eventually, but sometimes it takes months. Meanwhile, she is out in the world, typically by herself, but I won’t go into it any more. They’re private short stories but someday, I hope to publish. The problem is that they’re like me talking myself through something, so I don’t know how much sense they’d ever make to a reader, or how interesting they’d be.

One story was complete from start to finish but that one was screwed up. I wrote it after college and I think shared it with my therapist. I don’t actually recall receiving any feedback about it at all whatsoever, come to think of it. I was proud of it but it was screwed up. I’d be curious to read it again, but all of my writings are back in my childhood bedroom right now, in a drawer I intentionally jammed shut so it cannot be opened. It’s full up with writings that would hurt my parents very badly if they ever read them. I hope I can someday go there and take care of the writings. Probably I would digitize them and get rid of the originals.

It’s my old comics that I really, really wish I could have my mom bring me next time she visits. I want to scan them and post them. I really liked some of them.

Aaanndd I started to pee in my sleep again last night. Dammit, what is going on? At least I woke up just after starting to pee. Then I just went back to sleep and was fine.

ADDITION: Today’s morning was a FAIL. 😥 I snoozed my alarm clock twice and then suddenly it was 11a and I was so sound asleep and my dear friend “Joe” happened to call! Otherwise, I wonder if I’d have made it to work at all? My 2nd alarm is currently out of commission because of the daylight savings thing — can’t reset the clock until midnight because the time feature is broken — have to unplug it from the wall and then plug it back in to reset the time. Of course, I should have just made the alarm part an hour off. That’s what I’ll do tonight — I don’t plan to be awake at midnight tonight either.

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2 thoughts on “Journal + thoughts on safety

  1. I get this. The safety part. And I have something that worked for me. I used to feel the thrill in walking home from the bar after it closed and seeing the city all lit up but mostly asleep, but alive in a different way. And I’d go to sketchy parts of the city for the views, I’d go to the river (a known criminal hotspot in my city) and look around apart from my friends for a while. And I was 19-21, very small, very thin.

    I got myself a badass dog. He is very protective. He looks mean. (He is super friendly if you know him, but that is IF he knows YOU.)

    Yeah, it makes having people over a little tricky (he is on full protect mode for the first 5 minutes).

    But having a dog has so many benefits for mental health. And just… everything. My dog has changed me to be a better person. (Not saying people without dogs aren’t great people, only saying I have learned a million lessons from mine, especially in patience.)

    He has also made me take much better care of myself, because I want to be around to spend as much time as possible with him on this world. And I want a good life for us, with as many kick-ass (safe) adventures as possible.

    Nothing wrong with craving that off the grid feeling. But your friends and family might feel a little relieved if you got yourself a mean looking but loving dog to go on your journeys with you.

    Look up “Emotional Support Animal.” It is a type of service animal. Since I am bipolar and benefit from having my dog, I can live anywhere regardless of their pet policy. I never have to pay a dog fee. It doesn’t matter if the lease says no pit bulls. (He’s half pit.) You just get a note from your doctor, and that is all the landlord needs. They cannot ask you why you have a service animal, even if you display no obvious handicap.

    I found my Buddy at my local SPCA and I also have found so many friends at my local Animal Control where I volunteer. So many good friendly pit bulls who would love to be someone’s safe companion to so many adventures and life experiences. There are obviously other great breeds and my own Buddy is a mutt (with strong pit features).

    This might not be a good solution for you, but it really has been perfect for me for so, so many reasons. My dad, who is literally a card-carrying NRA member, finally feels like I am safe in my city (which has a very high crime rate). And I do to, although I am still always alert more so than I once was. I used to take rides from strangers in bad weather when I was manic walking to school in rain/snow. Nothing bad ever happened to me but seriously?? Taking a ride from a stranger?? Come on, Martha!!

    Sorry for leaving you a novel. I understand if a dog is not the right answer for you. It was for me, so I wanted to share that with you. It sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. Just know that when your family worries about you it is out of love. And please be careful biking in the city and back roads. Sometimes cyclists are hard to see, and sometimes drivers just hate cyclists. It is great exercise, though.

    Anyway, take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much!

      And, a dog would be a dream come true for me! I want someone fuzzy to come with me to all places!!!

      I had been dreaming between my favorite breed, Chinese crested, and Wheaten Terrier, which my previous therapist told me to get because they are appRently the best service dog for people on the autism spectrum.

      They don’t look mean, however, but they would at least have a very large presence, unlike the Chinese crested. So now I think the Wheaten Terrier would make more sense for me for sure, between the two.

      I’m allergic to pitties and most normal-haired dogs, so it makes finding a mean-looking one more complicated.

      Thank you for sharing!! I enjoyed reading your comment– it wasn’t too long at all.

      Like

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