Do you ever go out in public and feel caught in the headlights? Like a deer crossing the road when a car approaches?
It doesn’t take much to bring back that fear of danger coming toward you. Your legs won’t work and you can’t get out of the way.
Which Brings Me To This:
Someone emailed me last night about the post I wrote back in December in regards to Christine.
She was the blogger whose husband gunned her and her son down, then killed himself. Leaving behind three young children.
The woman who wrote to me said it had taken her all this time to get the courage to do so.
Because she could easily have been Christine. She has a friend who could have been Christine as well.
Caught In The Headlights, The Distance Between Yourself & Fear:
And no one knows how much distance you must put between yourself and the fear before you can even broach it. So I understand completely why she needed time.
Caught in the headlights…
It’s like staring at a gaping hole wondering if you’re going to get sucked into its vortex. Fear by proxy. It’s not only unsettling, but it brings back all kinds of fears that you barely keep tamped down as it is.
You find yourself in a crowd and your heart is pounding so hard you can’t remember where you parked your car. Everyone must hear it, that pounding in your chest that seems so loud.
Is Everyone Watching You Or Are You Imagining It:
You feel like all eyes are watching you and your discomfort. And you begin to feel like a deer in the headlights, caught between standing still and running away.
But they aren’t staring at you. And it isn’t disastrous. Nevertheless, you realize that you are very close to tears.
And aren’t you going to look foolish with tears rolling down your cheeks while people walk past you carrying on casual conversations?
You are envious of them. Of their easy banter.
Stripped Of Feeling Normal & Stripped Of Trust:
Because you cannot feel like that anymore. It has been stripped from you. That ease with which you used to walk down the street, not a care in the world pulling you down.
You are never the same. Not after months. And not after years.
Something has been taken from you and you will never get it back.
So you live your life on the periphery. On the edge of society.
People around you struggle to understand. And you have no answers for them.
You go out as infrequently as possible. And you stretch the groceries because you just can’t bear the thought of going out there.
When you’re in the grocery store you are on edge. Slyly peering sideways at everyone who walks past. Because you have lost the ability to be like them. Or to trust them.
It Doesn’t Take Much To Startle You:
When someone comes up behind you and tells you the fudge recipe is on the back of another brand, not the one you’re holding, they might as well have said there is a gunman on aisle two.
They were just being helpful. Friendly.
Caught in the headlights…
There was a time when I would have turned to them and smiled and said something witty. I would have thanked them and said “have a nice day.”
Sucked into the vortex. Yes, I know what that means.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget.