The Life You Save May Be Your Own

DID, knitting, sci-fi, and strong opinions

Safety Is an Illusion July 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — weordmyndum @ 1:51 pm
Tags: , , ,

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.


5 Responses to “Safety Is an Illusion”

  1. artyelf Says:

    This sounds really frightening.
    It’s horrible feeling so scared.
    I send you some peace. ♡

  2. lindakay1948 Says:

    Being terrified after being followed by a stranger is NOT irrational, but perfectly NORMAL. However, I hope that, if you are followed again, you will walk to a place where there are a lot of people. You could go into a public library, as I once did when this happened to me, and you can notify a librarian to call the police.

  3. brandic32 Says:

    That does sound very scary. The fact that you had a strong fear reaction a) is completely normal and b) completely understandable given your abuse history. I know it’s awful when something like this happens, and feels worse than anything, but you shouldn’t blame yourself for feeling the feelings you had. It sounds like he was not only invading your personal boundaries – not leaving you alone after you said you didn’t have money – but also was verbally abusive and threatening – “what the hell is wrong with you”? If anyone were to say that to me, regardless of the circumstances, I would be extremely triggered. No one has any right to say that to you. I’m glad you shouted “nothing”, because nothing is wrong with you. Honestly I don’t know that I could have said that under those circumstances. So I would try and give yourself some credit for standing up for yourself. It sounds like you *did* do everything right, and should give yourself some more credit. Try not to judge yourself for the feelings you had in the moment or for your reaction afterward- they are all completely understandable.

  4. Bourbon Says:

    Oh yikes. It sounds like you handled that a lot better than I would have. Someone only has to look at me wrong for me to panic. I am seriously looking into doing some sort of self defense sport because not only would it keep Poppy happy to be doing exercise it would give me a bit more confidence. Though overcoming the initial triggered fear reaction would be hard, but not impossible. I don’t know why some alters come out when they do. I guess Monica wanted/needed to express something? But so often I feel the “wrong” alter comes through. When I was bombarded by 6 male police men coming into my bedroom it triggered a very young alter to come out. Why? I thought the same: why wasn’t it a protector? Someone who can handle such a huge trigger? The alter who got pushed through didn’t like it either. Made sure I knew she wasn’t happy about having to deal with such a situation. Anyway, I ramble. I’m sorry you had to come across such a jerk on the street. x

  5. Neloran Says:

    It makes sense to me that one of your more shy/passive parts would pop out. It must have triggered her, or triggered you to feel an emotion that she usually handles. It doesn’t mean the “protectors” aren’t there, and wouldn’t do their job if necessary, though! Perhaps once in your house she felt safe enough to let that emotion run its course. I don’t know if that’s the case with you, I’m thinking based on what my system would have done in that situation.

    Anyway I’m glad that incident is over. And I have to say congratulations for you turning around and shouting nothing. I mean, you could have said nothing-nothing at all-and kept everything bottled up inside, and at least that bit came out! It scared him off, so in a way, I guess you did protect yourself!

    Be safe!


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