Friday, 15 June 2012

Common sense or plain paranoia?

I would say I have a lot of common sense; I am a very aware person when it comes to being safe and not doing anything that would put my safety at risk. By this I mean things like walking home alone in the dark, going somewhere with a stranger... things like that. I never thought many women would do those things but I see girls walking home, alone in the dark, all the time.
I will admit that in the winter, sometimes, it is really not easy to get anywhere when it is light and if you normally get a bus and then walk from the bus stop after work then you will be walking in the dark for a quarter of the year. However I would try to find a way around that if it was me.

Before I learnt to drive I had to walk to the bus stop. I was constantly worried and checked everything, if someone was walking towards me I would panic that they might do something to me. I once made my younger sister walk me to the bus stop through the alley near our house rather than walk it alone. I would cross the street to avoid walking through/around groups of people and would walk so quick to make the journey over as soon as possible. Everything outside, when I am alone, scares me. Driving has made me much more independent... to a point. I can go places alone now as long as I can drive there. It is the walking around alone that seems to be what really gets to me.

I get the train to London a lot for work which means I park in a car park near the station (Aren’t car parks quite scary places in the dark? I hate them). That is fine. As soon as it comes to getting the train home I spend the journey thinking about when I get off the train exactly what I will do to get to my car as quick as possible. Get keys out ready, hold key outwards in case someone approaches me, walk as quick as possible without running and causing attention to myself, make no eye contact (again to avoid attention), don’t look around, don’t get phone out, hold onto bag tightly in front. Is this the way other people think?

When I go into London I keep my phone in my pocket so that if anyone mugs me and takes my bag I have my phone to be able to contact someone. I fight very hard with myself not to do that with my purse as well!

I know that I might be a bit of an extreme, paranoid some might call it, but I am terrified of being approached by someone and threatened. I know exactly why I am like this; my poor dad put the fear of god in me when I was younger. He used to tell me and my sisters that if anyone grabbed us we have to scream as loud as we could - DO NOT STAY QUIET. He would show us defensive moves, and tell us if we didn’t fight and they got us to their car then we might not get away so make sure to put up as much of a fight and make as much noise as possible. He was being a good dad and trying to make us aware of what could happen. It wasn’t his fault that I am the type of person that would be influenced by that in a bad way. I majorly worry about it and am nervous of everything. My little sister is aware but she doesn’t get scared so easy. She will walk from her car to the train and back without panicking – she knows to be careful but doesn’t let it control her life. I actually worry more for her, if I know she is coming home in the dark I will make her text me when she is at her car and then wait for her to get home before I can sleep.

The problem is I don’t know how to stop my brain from clicking into the worried. I try and think, just walk slower, don’t rush, breath, it’ll be fine. And it is. But I am still so worried about it.

I have always said that if I could have a super power it would be to be Bionic so that no one could really hurt me! Flying would also be kinda cool... J

The reason I thought about this is because I had a conversation the other week about this sort of thing, one of my friends said that her friend went running in the woods on her own and she said that that was silly and risky when her friend disagreed. When speaking about it most of us agreed it was a risk but we got talking about it and I said even running along the road worries me and I worry about walking from my car to my house in the dark and they all said I worry a bit too much!
I know being conscious and aware is the best way to be but I don’t know how to strike a balance where I am aware but can also relax!

If anyone has any tips of how to control my worries – PLEASE SHARE!! x


  1. Superbly written Peaky, as always. But honestly reading about your car park routine made me sad. Hun broadly speaking you need to engage in self -improvement. You have quite articulately identified a weakness you would like to remove. 3 potential options are; self defence classes (you would be surprised how much pain you could inflict on a very large man, with professional guidance), Learn/practice relaxation techniques (yoga is good for this), phobia based therapy.
    I have always known you to be a very focused and disciplined person. I have no doubt at all that with some help you will be skipping through car parks in the dark (exercising appropriate caution, natch) ;o)
    Good luck Hun,

    1. Thank you firstly for reading :o)
      Secondly, I know! I am actually looking into self defence classes. Totally agree on the yoga - have to look into that.
      I am a very tense person and find most situations hard to relax in. It would be SO nice to go a day without worrying.
      Thanks for the advice
      Ps - Natch! totally made me chuckle