The fear I feel.
June 28, 2013
Recently I went to a small, two-hour course – which was quite a way away – so I decided to park at the station and catch the train in.
It was about 9.00pm when I started my trek home. It was dark and the going-home crowds had drastically thinned out.
This may seem irrational, but a teeny fear factor starts to kick in when I’m alone and at night. Not an all out fear – but most definitely a heightened sense of awareness.
I start to notice men more and I start to evaluate them – their possible danger factor. Stereotypically mostly – their age and/or their dress – but other times it’s if I catch them watching me. They’re the creepiest.
Is that fair? Do men feel insulted by me saying that? I don’t know – but the violent rape culture that has permeated our world dictates to me that it can happen anywhere; anytime; by anyone; TO anyone.
If I don’t do this and something happens, won’t the first point of the discussion be the judgment against me for putting myself in a ‘bad situation’? Or the fact I was wearing leggings and have nice legs? Victim blaming is rife in our culture.
I had to alight a practically empty train – I was the only one in my carriage when I got off (a little unnerving) – and had to walk in the dark to my car. I kept turning around to check noone was behind me, as I saw a young man dressed in rapper clothes also get off the train at my stop.
When I got in my car, I needed to turn on the wipers and didn’t see the slug that subsequently got smeared across my windscreen. Slug goo everywhere – yuck. I pulled into a petrol station to clean it off.
There was a gang of young men wearing hoodies at the paying window of the service station. Just them and me. I thought – there’s three of them and I’m alone but the chances of something happening are low…or are they?
That’s the conundrum and it feels like crap to live like this.
Let me tell you that my heightened state was compounded by the fact that slug goo is NOT easy to get off – I kept getting in my car, to have to get out again and give it another go – all the while keeping my eye on the young men.
Question #171: Can men truly understand how this feels?
Now, I consider myself quite strong in character and can stand up for myself in many situations, but I can’t help but feel a sense of uneasiness when I’m alone – especially at night – in this evermore dangerous world.
I often tell my students that FEAR is – False Evidence Appearing Real – as a way to help them navigate through fears that stunt their ability to forge their way forward.
In this case, however, I’m not sure if it is false evidence.
Statistically it’s not false.