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!
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I suppose I’ve been scared plenty of times in my life, but not always when I should have been. Have you ever read the book “The Gift of Fear?” It’s about listening to your gut when you feel fear, since fear is generally an indication of danger. A powerful read, though it’s been years and years since I’ve looked at it.
Hope you and Chris had a lovely weekend. Stay warm, my friend. Sorry to have been so scarce recently. I had no idea that selling our home before leaving the country would entrail SO much work. Kind of overwhelming, at times.
I will have to look that book up—sounds like a good one! Hopping over to read your post in a few minutes. I bet you guys are crazy busy! Hang in there!
Crazy-busy, indeed! If you are thinking about the meaning and impact of fear, I suspect, it’s a book worth looking at. It’s not new–but I enjoyed it!
I’ve had a few scary moments in my life, but all turned out well. I think one of the scariest was leaving my house in the middle of the night and interrupting two criminals in the act of stealing stuff from my car. That gave me a start.
Oh my goodness! That would have given me far more than a start!!!
I was most scared in the moment I realized my son had been struck by a car. This is not the same type of fear you are referencing, but fear none-the-less. I heard the sirens outside my house and I knew, just knew, that Caleb had been struck while crossing the street to his school bus stop. Thankfully, he was not seriously injured by the hit-and-run vehicle. To this day, that stands out as my single moment of greatest fear.
That is totally the kind of fear that I am talking about! The almost immobilizing kind. I am so grateful that all ended up okay in what could have been a horrible situation. Anything that involves our kids really has an impact more than if it is ourself that is the focus.
I have experienced real fear too often to say. My childhood was fear itself. My adulthood has had moments of concern, causing fear. I sort it out in my journal & poetry.
I have been so sheltered! I think your journaling and writing is the perfect answer to sorting it all out!
When I worked in a federal mens’ maximum security prison, we had to talk/deal with really violent, dangerous and sick offenders. So I have sat across a table from the likes of Bundy, Dahmer and our Canadian versions Paul and Karlma Bernado (in that case, actually been in the room with them), and I can definitely say, that is the most chills of fear I’ve ever felt.
It’s a very confusing state, being near these type of people: evil seems to pour off them in waves, yet; they can so absolutely personable – even charming, and it’s completely disarming. also terrifying.
Wow— that is exactly what I am talking about! That is why I asked because I knew a lot of you guys had experiences far beyond mine . I suspect the charm of those folks is part of their “sickness” and a way for them to suck people into their evil web. Yikes. Very confusing! Thanks for sharing!
I know in my case you would guess it was the day I found out I had breast cancer, but in fact when I read this the first thing I thought of was when I was younger and realized I wasn’t indistructable. I had drank milk with Rit dye in it, swallowed a Gumby eraser that was huge (I thought that would kill me for sure and mom would be mad), ran over a young tree on a sled that bent so far it hit me in the head when it swung back, but the day I realized I really could die for real was on a tire swing over a huge revene, the rope broke and I fell all the way to the bottom and landed on my back. I couldn’t breath and that triggered my first panic attack, sweating, heart racing, all of it. Nothing was broken, but I have been more cautious ever since.
Michele—of course I thought breast cancer immediately! The childhood dramas sound very scary indeed!!! Glad you came out of it a bit more cautious! Thanks so much for sharing. I have to admit the Gumby eraser had me chuckling!
Some “liberals” would call that stereo-typing, or profiling.. I call it common sense and good judgment. Fear is a protective device of the human mind. You don’t always have to give in to it, but you should always be aware that there is a reason for it..
Funny but I wondered if anyone would pick up on that non political part of my post! It was just another indicator that I was way out of my element. Unfortunately the majority of the indigenous that I had contact with during our stay there were the ones who were the forgotten ones—the ones that came to Townsville on the boat to drink and harass the townsfolk. While I am hopeful that that is not the norm there it was what my own personal experience was and this woman was big and scary and I knew that I was no match for her. 🙂
Discretion is always the better part of valor… So I’ve heard it said..
Haha. I try to be discreet……but not always.
I guess that the time I was scared was when my oldest child was in a car accident with several of her friends. All were hurt a little but she was sitting in the front seat between two of her friends and was the one that spent several days in the hospital. She was healed and thankfully she does not even remember the accident or the the time she spent in the hospital.
I was young enough when that happened that I really was scared about it but did not totally understand the severity of the situation until probably after she came home. No parent ever wants to see their child go through something like that.
Well, I’d have to say it was Oct. 31, 2012. Our son, age 24, hadn’t been heard from for 2 days when his boss called my husband to ask if Ben was ok. Ben hadn’t been to work and hadn’t called in. This was a shock to my husband and he knew something was wrong, very wrong. He called me and my heart started to pound, my breathing became rapid. I immediately knew I had to leave work and go home to wait for “the news”. I was praying and hoping there was some misunderstanding or logical explanation for his absence and non-communication. As I left the school where I was teaching, I got a bottle of water out of my bag for the 3 mile drive home. My mouth was cotton, no moisture at all – I needed water. I’d say that the fear was taking a toll on my body by now. Within a half hour the police/ambulance/fire dept broke his condo door down, nearly 3 hours from where we live and found our beloved son dead. Unfortunately, my fears were founded and so began the process of coming to terms with our healthy, vibrant, wonderful son dying at age 24. It has been quite a grief journey and my heart is filled to overflowing for the wonderful support we’ve been given over the last 3 months. “Blessed are those who mourn”. Well I say “Blessed are those who care for the mourning”.
Oh Roxann–what a day for you to choose to read my blog when it was a day with a question like that on it. I am so sorry. And you know that I am here for you and as your heart continues to grieve and mourn and eventually heal I will continue to be here for you. You, Jeff, Tyler and Kayla continue to be in my prayers daily. Hugs.
It’s ok, really. I had a good cry and that’s ok too. I’ve been thinking about writing some things down and maybe today will get that spark going to record some of my feelings, thoughts and emotions about all that’s happened. I enjoyed reading what everyone wrote. Hugs to you too, Beth Ann
I think the journaling would be a really good thing for you. You can write a bunch of stuff down that is just too hard to verbalize out loud. So honored you took the time to read my blog today! 🙂
I can’t honestly remember any one instance that stands out for the most fear I’ve felt. I’ve been scared when I lost sight of the kids for a moment in a store, or they fell and didn’t get back up right away – stuff like that but nothing like what you described. Guess that’s a good thing?
Very good thing! Hope it stays that way!!!
I lived with fear as a child, too. Not the fight or flight kind, but a dark cloud of dread seemed to hang over me, and afraid to do anything for fear I’d get into trouble.
Aw….that makes me sad. Hopefully you don’t have any of those fears these days!
I think one of the scariest times for me was when I told my boys I would pick them up from elementary school because I had to work in my youngest son’s classroom. When school was dismissed my little one and I waited for my older son to meet us…time ticked on and on and panic and fear set in big time…time continued to tick by and my son was nowhere in sight! Soon the schoolyard, the bus lane and car lanes were cleared and it was so quiet. I was in tears by now and the entire school staff was searching for my son, even calling him on the PA system. Nothing. Since we lived close by the principal suggested I go home quickly to see if by chance my boy had taken the bus home. He HAD!!! He was on the front porch waiting, in tears for me to arrive. I will never, ever, not in a million years forget that feeling…EVER!!! Never want to experience anything like that again. Makes my eyes fill with tears and gives me chills even typing this….xoxo, Diane