Fear #worldmentalhealthday

In this blog post I would like to reflect on situations that have caused me some anxiety, the feeling of worry and unease, to situations that have caused outright fear, a cold chilling sensation in my core making me want to run or curl up in a ball.

Every time I think of getting in my car I feel that low level discomfort, even though I have done so a thousand times. Driving to a supermarket to shop is the next level of this fear: will I get there ok? Will I find parking? Will I get everything I need? Will I have enough money? Will I damage the car on the way home?

Making a journey out of the city I live in is the next level of anxiety, moderate. Will I break down? Get lost? Have an accident? Yet I have driven up and down the country numerous times and with satnav there is less to be anxious about. However, recently I realised in an hour of need I have very few, if any people, I feel I can call.

Going out without a trusted friend is the next level a sure case of anxiety that I haven’t faced for a while. Although recently whilst out with a trusted companion I found myself experiencing absolute fear. The companion in question became a stranger. A nasty stranger who used things I had been brave enough to be honest about against me. I had to ramp down feelings of betrayal and insecurity to go into survival mode and think of my safety.

This was a situation I haven’t faced before. I was lucky I am physically fitter and emotionally more robust than I have been in years. The situation shook me up, evoked feelings of not wanting to be here anymore and the ultimate false belief that I’m not cut out to live this life.

I also learned once someone takes you to this level of fear, trust is lost. Trust is destroyed forever when a person you care for and trust makes you feel that chill, that flight or fight response we all hope no one experiences. There is no way back to feeling a sense of grounded freedom with that person again. I honestly believe someone who makes you feel this fear knows they are doing so and the power they feel in this situation spurs them on. They also must be aware that they are no longer seen in the same light by the person they have instilled such fear in.

I have no words for the distressing emotions that result when the person responsible cannot see the damage they have done. They have distorted the narrative in their head to such an extreme that the person they terrified is complicit in their behaviour. What I do know is that I am holding onto my confidence so that I don’t stop being the person I am and so I don’t stop believing in and seeing the good in others.

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