I was talking with someone Saturday casually and then again to the hubs last night about fear - my fear specifically. (Not a phobia - although I DO have one of those.)
Paranoia, vigilence, awareness, being careful... all of these are things we're all taught to do at least a little to keep us safe (ish) in this crazy world full of nut-jobs. Some people probably don't pay close enough attention, and then there are those people, like me, who probably are a little too vigilent, paranoid, careful, worried.
The conversation started while standing in line for Batman at Six Flags. There was a group of teenage boys behind us in line that were apparently under the impression that if they got close enough to our group, they could magically appear on the other side of us (or maybe even at the front of the line). I began discussing boundaries in public - how so many people seem unaware of personal space. People in the grocery line sometimes are so close I can hear them breathe in my ear. REALLY?!? You being that close to me isn't going to make the groceries check any faster.
I don't think anyone enjoys having thier personal space invaded by a stranger. I, however, almost always begin panicking at least a little when this happens. When someone steps too close (even something as innocent as a teenage boy in line at Six Flags), my heart begins racing. I get fidgety and start looking for people who could help me if the situation turns bad. I do everything short of running over someone else and/or slapping the person who's gotten too close to distance myself from the person.
Normal? Probably not. Worrisome? I'm not sure. THIS is what brought the conversation up again last night. I know that I'm probably more hyper-paranoid about strangers and dangerous situations than the average person. I can even tell you WHY I am that way. I can name the day that it began for me and some of my scariest run-ins with my fear since then with great detail. My question to my husband was, "I know my fear's greater than that of the average person, but if it's not keeping me from living my life, is it something I should worry about?"
I think some of my extra awareness is GOOD. When I'm walking through a parking lot or into the house, I take inventory of every single person around. Is there anyone near my car or door? Is there anyone behind me going in the same direction? If so, how close are they and is there a store worker or other trust-worthy person nearby if I need them?
I never stop to get gas without someone knowing exactly where I am (usually my poor mother gets this call - "I'm on _____ Street at the QT getting gas. I'll call you when I get back in with locked doors"). I figure at least that way if something happens, someone knows TO look and WHERE to look.
I think those things probably keep me (and Tucker) safe.
But some of my fear may not be so good. I never walk in or out of my house without thinking that there's the possibility that someone could be watching us, taking note of our routine, or watching for the perfect moment to grab us or shove his way in our house. I get panicky when people get too close in the grocery store or in line at Six Flags. Those things aren't normal. I know that.
My question is, how much fear is TOO much?
What do YOU fear? How much? Do you think your fear is normal? a good thing? worrisome?
(A little deep for a cold Tuesday in May, I know.)
Love, Shipoopies, and a fearless day,