I’m freaking out. We’re freaking out. Have been since last night.
I was walking home–from painting the kung fu school, of all things–and this guy came up to me on my street, where no one else was around. He was probably my age, dressed like a bro with a popped collar and all. He asked me for a dollar, and I told him I didn’t have any money on me. This was true–all I had were my keys and my phone.
“Come on, I just need a dollar.”
“I don’t have any.”
“I’ll give you a quarter.”
Um, in what universe is that an equal trade? “I really don’t have any money on me.”
“Come on, it’s just a dollar.”
At that point, I turned and started walking toward my house. In retrospect, I should’ve gone back to Main Street where there were a lot of people, but I was too freaked out to think of that. He followed me.
“Come on, what’s wrong with you? I just need a dollar. What the hell is wrong with you?”
Finally, I turned around, snapped “Nothing!” at him, and walked away. He stopped following me before I got to the house, but my heart was racing and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I locked all the doors, closed the windows and curtains even though it was still hot, and hid. I even freaked out when I had to take Winston out to pee–what if he’d seen where I live and came back? I know it’s irrational, but I’m still terrified.
And the sad thing is, I’ve been taught how to deal with that. We’ve worked on non-physical self-defense in kung fu: eye contact, body language, voice. Aside from eye contact, which I rarely do even when I’m not feeling threatened, I did all the things you’re supposed to. I knew I could’ve taken him down if I’d needed to. But I am still terrified, and I hate that.
I think Monica was out for most of the night after that. She’s 15 and kind of shy, really not into martial arts or self-defense or any of that. Seems like the person who’d get triggered out by that situation would be one of the tougher, more protective people (I really dislike the term “protector” because it implies that that people in the system are no more than their functions), so I don’t get why it was one of the people who almost certainly wouldn’t defend herself.
I’m still really stressed and scared this morning. I kept looking for the guy when I took Winston out for a walk this morning. I was afraid I’d see him and freeze or dissociate, and then he’d hurt me. I didn’t see him, which is a good thing, because then I’d be having a huge meltdown. I just hate that I’m so scared.