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11 Oct 2018

Too Close to Home, Too Near the Bone.

Written by sally @ 9:59 am — Section: sally

Last night I went for drinks with a couple of friends, and when I got home, it was dark. Unfortunately it getting dark at night is a thing that happens regularly. I got out of my car, and I thought I heard a voice say “hello.” Hello? I said. Hello? No answer. I sped-walked (speed-walked? speededed-walkeded?) to the spot where the motion light would come on. Thankfully there was no one there, but I was so scared that I went inside and cried for an hour.

I let people know about my weirdnesses so I’m not caught off guard: I have to eat lunch early or else I turn into a monster. I don’t like public hugging. I hate surprise parties. I’m afraid of getting murdered. Basically my nightmare would be a surprise party with no food in which everyone hugs me and then takes turns murdering me.

I haven’t always been particularly afraid of murderers, and I envy my pre-fear self for moving about in the world without that particular baggage. As it is, now I carry it around with me, sometimes shifting the weight so it doesn’t feel like that much of a burden. In a certain light, I can convince myself that it keeps me safe.

A few years ago, I briefly dated a man who ended up scaring me. One night he got angry and spoke to me with such rage that I was convinced that he was going to kill me. Obviously, I ended it (and also, for the first time ever, deleted every email, put every gift in the trash can, threw away the pages of my journal that talked about him), but I remained afraid.

Maybe my brain’s danger receptors are out of whack and he was not, in fact, thinking of killing me; even so, when I think about that night, my brain experiences it all over again, and I sweat and panic. My brain makes a quick association between a man’s angry words and his violent actions. And so, in my relationships since, I explicitly say: please don’t do this. I can’t handle it. I am not built for this. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to request not to be screamed at or called names. (I shouldn’t have to ask, but I do. Just in case.)

Relevant: last week I received an email that scared the shit out of me. I read it, I panicked, I sweated, I cried. I read it again, same reaction. Every time I tell someone about it, I panic and sweat and cry. It made me afraid, and last night when I thought there was an email sending murderer in the bushes, my brain panicked and sent all the sweat and tears my body could produce to the surface. (At least I didn’t also pee. #blessed)

I don’t know how else to get through it besides continuing to talk about it and to panic and sweat and cry in the process. Maybe if I panic and sweat and cry enough, I can get to the other side of it, but I am so sad and so angry that this is where I am.

2 Responses to “Too Close to Home, Too Near the Bone.”

  1. Danielle said:

    I don’t have anything helpful to say, other than I’m sorry and I’m thinking of you.

  2. sally said:

    Thanks, D.