When people argue; Panic

It’s incredible the flood of anxiety I feel when people begin to argue.

These two people do not shout. These two people do not throw things. These two people do not hurt animals. These two people do not give each other the silent treatment later or love each other any less tomorrow.

But they do get intense with their voices. One of them is forceful and the voice raises, not in volume but in pitch. The other gets forceful and uses “YOU” statements that I find very rude. “YOU” are not listening. “YOU” have switched what you are arguing.

These arguments always end peacefully and they love each other the same immediately after. For them, the effects are null. They argue. They debate. It’s part of what they do. Frankly, I would go so far as to say it is part of who they are as people.

But for me, the effects are longer lasting. I will be afraid of them for days. It was not directed at me; nobody is arguing or debating with me. I have already put in my noise-isolating headphones and escaped up the stairs. I have already blared music directly into my earbuds.

But the flooding of anxiety is so strong and so immediate. It’s an emergency for me, when two people argue. It is danger. It is red alert. It is unpredictable and unsafe.

They will not hurt me. The worst either of them could do to me, based on who they are and what I have seen, is to use an insulting tone of voice and say “YOU” don’t understand what I am trying to say. Or something like that. That’s the worst I’ve seen or heard from them.

But my body goes straight to fear. My body says, the monsters have surrounded me. I am prepared to run. I am prepared to hide. I am prepared to face the streets in the dark at night amongst strangers. I am prepared to kill to protect myself.

My intestines prepare to evacuate immediately. I need to run. Outdoors. I need to be one speck in an infinite darkness, alone. Unknown. Safer.

Instead, I am trying to prep for bed. I brushed my teeth. I’m listening to my music, blaring into my ears. I can hear the voices. They are calm but still firm. It’s only a difference of opinion and grilling over various scientific studies to prove one side or the other. My shoes and coat were already on (because me and one of them were about to go on a very short walk). I am ready; I want to run. I could take anxiety medicine that will help me sleep. It’s been 30 minutes, right? I could take off my shoes and coat without offending. … Or I could slip past and go on a jog into the darkness.

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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.