Saturday, March 04, 2006

Nowhere To Hide

I thought of this again today. There was a Saturday morning a few weeks ago that J had gone into work. I was sleeping in, but startled awake by a thud thud thud on the front door. After living for years in apartments, I'm not so used to having only one door between us and the outside world. And I didn't like the sound of that knock. I froze, swallowing my heart into my stomach. I laid completely still under the covers, listening for the next round of knocks. Bracing myself in the panic-mode that comes from a rude awakening. I waited, but there were no more knocks on the door and I was relieved. Nothing worth freaking out about, but it took a good hour before the anxiety subsided. I don't like unexpected visitors and mostly everyone we know will call us before coming by. It was probably just a Girl Scout or someone else taking donations, or even a neighbor just stopping by to say hello. We don't even live in a bad neighborhood where I should be afraid, but that's sort of the point. It doesn't matter what kind of neighborhood it is. I have this awful fear of being trapped inside my own home. Not just that, but it's one of my fears.
I still have these nightmares about these things that happened so long ago, and I can't deny their presence. The flashbacks of running as fast as I could to lock all the doors in the house I grew up in. Of trying desperately to push the door closed and turn the lock while someone was pushing with all their force on the other side. Or how the moment they thought of another door they could try, I'd have to hope I could reach it before they did. Trying to fight or prevent it would make them more angry, the punishment or humiliation would be worse. I remember how the two rooms in our house that had locks built into the doorknob could easily be unlocked with a straightened wire hanger. That meant that even the bathroom wasn't safe, if I had to go I would just need to try to hold it until later. And I remember the adrenaline I'd have as I'd wedge my bed or dresser in front of my bedroom door... and wait and wait and wait for them to give up and find something else to do. It was a game, to them but not me. I truly believed that they'd kill me if I told anyone. They'd say it over and over again - we'll kill you, no one will get here in time to save you. Once I attempted to call their bluff and my father's hunting rifle was found, cocked cha-chuck and pointed in my face. They thought it was funny when I cried. My fear was fueling them. I had no faith at that time that they wouldn't do it. Of course, somehow they didn't - but that came along with "Ha haa, it wasn't even loaded, stupid crybaby." I was seemingly despised, yet necessary in these games somehow. And I had wanted so badly to be included, to be good, to be fun, to not be the brunt of their amusement. Things like that continued for way too long.
Wouldn't it be something, to go back and right the wrongs that your childhood self couldn't? To fight those fights and never be scared? I had been predisposed with the perfect mentality for it then. I felt that for years I was a magnet, I just brought out the bad side of people. And now although I feel like I've worked through most of these things, paranoia has become some sort of automatic defense mechanism - holding me back from things as simple as answering a knock on the door.

9 comments:

Dave said...

Wow. Holy shit. Im kinda speechless on that story.

Blush said...

im with dave. you poor dear! can i kick those ugly guys asses for you? please??? nobody messes with my friends.

Ms Bees Knees said...

girl, you have anxiety pretty bad. i was crippled with anxiety for years... went through the same shit. do you have health insurance? you should get your ass on an SSRI stat. seriously, it allows you to function again.

girlfiend said...

Jesus, that's a powerful story.

Blush said...

oh and i used to get the anxiety when i'd hear a thud thud thud on my door, but that was usually the cops, and thats a different story altogether... haha!

made you laugh

Nervous Girl said...

Thanks for reading that story and for your sentiments, folks. It sat around for 3 weeks before I finally decided to post it. Little dark, I know - but sort of a... release I guess?

Blush - You're such a sweetheart, thanks and yes - you did make me laugh with the 2nd comment!

Ms. Bees Knees - thanks for the concern, yes I'm on one and it does help with some things, or it did for a while. That's another story altogether...

The Reverend Dan said...

When the demons come, they don't knock. They just scratch on the doors and peer in with their glowing eyes.
Keep the gun clean and loaded. And vanquish your enemies like a sexy hell beast.

BrianAlt said...

Wow, that's pretty bad. At least you obviously know this about yourself. Be well!

The Big Cheese said...

Amazing post.