Have you ever been really scared? I mean REALLY scared? The kind of scared that puts your body into fight or flight mode or the kind of scared that just plain causes your body to react by sweating or sending cold chills all over your body???
I got to thinking about being scared today for some reason. Might have been because of a dream or something I saw on television (watching all 5 seasons of The Wire might be what triggered it) but when I pondered it I think I have only been really scared once in my life. Not that there probably have not been plenty of times that I needed to be scared but either I was too unaware or too naive to consider that was something that I should be feeling.
The time that I can remember being scared was a time when I was actually a little concerned about my own safety. I have led a privileged life compared to many and grown up in good healthy environments. I have never lived in areas of high crime or places where I was afraid to be by myself anyplace. I think that is a pretty wonderful thing and for that I am grateful because I don’t think I would survive too long in a world that was violent and scary.
When we lived in Australia we had one car and the house we rented was about 35-40 minutes from the town where Chris had his main office. Sometimes if I wanted the car I would drive him into work and pick him up later. This one day we were going to go to the “estate house” in Ayr. That sounds way fancier than it actually was—it was a house on the mill property that was used to house the estate managers. It was empty and since Chris had to be at that mill once a week or so and it was a long drive from where we lived in Saunders Beach they let us put a few pieces of furniture there and hang out there when he was working at that mill.
Chris had a farewell dinner to attend in Townsville for an employee so the plan this day was to pick him up at the restaurant and then drive down to the house in Ayr. We had the time all set and I arrived and found a parking spot fairly close by and texted him that I was there. The minutes passed and he was not coming out which was fine. What wasn’t fine was that where I parked was a thoroughfare for all of the indigenous people that hung out in the park . What wasn’t fine was that it was beginning to get dark. What wasn’t fine was that the folks that passed by were mostly drunk. Very drunk. And rough looking. I began to feel very out of place and out of my element in a way that I had never felt before. I kept texting Chris and finally he answered that he would be out soon. A woman started to approach my car and I turned the engine on to start to leave because quite honestly I did not know what she was going to do. Fortunately she decided to move on and Chris came out almost immediately so we drove off but I remember telling him that I never wanted to feel that way again. I was scared. Even though I was in a car I was definitely out of my element. It was not a good feeling.
I guess if that is the only time I have ever felt scared in 52 years of living that is pretty good but I still remember it vividly. The uneasiness of the situation—the unfamiliarity of the area and the emotions that I experienced in a few short moments are something I will never forget. It makes me realize that there are situations where I am not comfortable. Fortunately that is not something that I experience often.
Where or when have you been scared? Is there one time in your life that sticks out as the scariest? Or are you like me and live your life probably not realizing that you should be scared at times? Leave me a comment and tell me your story!