To Live With Fear

It’s raining.

When all is quiet in the morning, I love to hear the gentleness of the falling rain.

When I was a child my Dad wouldn’t allow me to play outside in the rain and I remember, often sitting at my bedroom window watching the other kids on the street, playing freely.

I never crossed him intentionally-the consequences were too high.

(well on the odd occasion when I felt exceedingly brave)

It was another restless night, last night and when that happens, my mind begins to wander, travelling to the most distant memories of my past experiences.

The poem that I wrote for my last daily challenge task which was called Fear, was about an experience I had when I was about 12.

There used to be a cafe in town, a popular hang out for teenagers after school and on Saturday afternoons. Six or seven of us girls, would squeeze ourselves around a table and share plates of chips, covered in heaps of tomato sauce.

Dad wouldn’t allow me to go into town at aged 12 and his over bearing fear of me being taken away, clouded his thinking and increased his control. The pressure from friends about never being allowed to do stuff, wore me down in the end and I took the risk and joined them on the odd occasion.

Joining in, created an intense, internal worry that Dad would somehow, find out and so my teenage adventure was always marred with anxiety and quite stressful.

This particular Saturday, a man came into the cafe and sat at the table next to us. He seemed nice and instigated a conversation, offering us chips and cups of hot chocolate at his expense. He wore a light beige mackintosh coat and had short brown hair. I can remember him smiling and appearing very friendly.

What I didn’t realize in my immaturity, was that he was in the early stages of grooming.

He made us laugh and looking back now, his charisma and flirtatious character was appealing to a group of overly hormonal, teenage girls.

When we left the cafe to walk home, he asked what direction we were walking in and low and behold, he just happened to be going the same way and tagged on to our group.

I can’t remember what we talked about but I do remember that I seemed much more fascinated by him than anyone else did!

I knew better, I’d had it drummed into me from an early age about not talking to strangers. In fact, my Dad was obsessed with the idea of me being taken, which lead to his strict and often overwhelming control of me.

One by one, my friends said their goodbyes and went home until I was the last girl, alone with the stranger.

None of them appeared to be worried about me being on my own with him and just left me.

It was at that point, I realised something was wrong and decided to walk back, the way we came to be sure of more people being around.

Almighty fear set in and I knew that I had to get away. I also knew, that I had to keep walking and talking until I arrived at a safe place in order to make my exit.

One specific thing I do recall him telling me whilst walking back, was that he had to go to the police station everyday at 6 pm to check in and if he didn’t go, he would be in a lot of trouble.

I didn’t understand why?

Alarms bell went off and I felt like I couldn’t breathe-the intensity was overwhelming. I knew that I could’t run yet as he might grab me, so I just kept walking, whilst figuring out what to do.

There was a red telephone box at the end of the main road that leads into town and I decided that the box, would be my queue, to part company.

I can still feel the feeling of fear inside my gut as I write this now and also, have had another aha moment with regards to my running pattern.

In the past, when I have felt so suffocated with my life situation, I’ve wanted to run as far away as humanly possible, to escape the fear of what was happening and this situation, stacked up with all of my other ‘running away’ experiences, has allowed the fear to grow and my running pattern to increase too.

No wonder I’ve always felt like running away…

I felt suffocated in that situation back then, my lungs unable to expand fully restricted with fear and I said politely;

“It was nice meeting you, I have to go home now”-

his tone of voice was stern and he slightly protested my leaving saying that we could talk some more, as that he really liked me.

I started to walk in the direction of home and he was quickly behind me so I picked up my pace and started to run which is when he shouted out;

“Come back you bitch” and began the chase after me.

I literally ran for my life, never stopping until I made it home and praying a gazillion times on route, eventually losing him.

Wet with perspiration and lungs about to burst, I locked the front door behind me and told Mum what had happened (not the whole story of course) just that I had left my friends and had been followed home.

I don’t really recall a reaction and felt like what I had told her, had fallen on deaf ears. I took myself off to my bedroom and waited at the window, hiding behind my net curtain on active surveillance for, I don’t know how long.

Just in case he followed me home.

Google.com

As a part of my NLP practitioner training some 21 years ago, we learn’t how to use hypnosis as a tool to enable our clients to experience a deeper therapeutic process and during my Master practitioner, my practice strengthened.

It was phenomenal.

I was fascinated about this incredible tool and wanted to learn more in depth skills so on my return from the USA, I attended further training in London.

My colleagues and I lodged in a guest house local to the training centre and the whole experience at the house, was bizarre from start to finish.

On arrival, the owner of the house greeted us in such a welcoming and uplifting manner, almost completely over the top, like we were her long lost family.

She wore a navy blue jumper which appeared to have food stains down the front and a long denim skirt. As it was late in the evening, she showed us to our rooms and retired to her private dwellings.

My colleagues, who were also a couple, stayed in the downstairs double room occupancy which had a conservatory attached to it. I had a small room on the first floor, upstairs.

There were four male constructions workers staying in the two rooms adjacent to my room and we shared a bathroom, situated on the landing outside.

I had no lock on my door and the fear once again, felt almost unbearable so I propped a chair up against the door, jamming the handle so that nobody could enter my room.

I was now 30.

My bed was unclean, covered in hair and it was obvious that it had been slept in. I was too afraid to leave my room to complain and ask for clean bedding, so spread my towel out over the pillows and the top part of the sheet and attempted to go to sleep.

I hardly slept at all.

The next morning I went downstairs for breakfast and was greeted by my colleagues in the dining room. The owner appeared to take our order for breakfast and was dressed in the exact same clothes with what looked like an extra egg stain on her jumper.

Bless her

During breakfast I mentioned to the others about the state of my bed and in a round about way they suggested that I was going over the top and it was only for a few days so to let it go and not make a fuss.

I didn’t mention the chair.

Everyday was the same. The lady would open the door for us when we arrived back after our day’s training, wearing the exact same dirty clothes and then every morning when we came down for breakfast.

It was the same for the entirety of our stay.

She appeared to be in some sort of stranded animation.

On the very last morning of the training, whilst waiting for the others to get ready to leave, I sat in the conservatory with my ear phones in, listening to music. When I closed my eyes and almost immediately, I had the most vivid visual experience of being chased by a man. My body felt heavy, stuck to the chair that I was sitting in and the film played out in my mind.

I was terrified, running through the woods near my childhood home and was being chased by a man.

He was catching up with me very quickly and I just couldn’t out run him.

The man grabbed my left shoulder and I stopped.

For what seemed like forever I couldn’t turn around and look at him because I was so friegthened.

And then I turned…

Staring back at me was my Dad, having grown a beard, looking fresh and healthy with bright blue eyes. He was wearing a burgundy scarf and smart grey heavy overcoat.

He threw is arms around me and held me.

Success Magazine

In that moment I stopped running, just for a while, for at least the time I had with him, in my minds eye, for him to love me and hold me, to let me know that he was with me and I needn’t be afraid anymore.

Sometimes in life we let fear lead us down a path of terrible self sacrifice and emotional punishment that really messes with our whole being. We choose situations in life, unconsciously, to get in touch with that same pain, to remind us in some sort of way, that we aren’t good enough, or not strong enough, not worthy enough and so on…

But you know what?-it really doesn’t have to be that way, you can do things differently and choose a different path. My guess is for me, that there have been a million and one times over the years where my Dad has reached out to me or been very near and my grief has closed me down.

I believe that life goes on, maybe in a different form but I can not and will not accept that we end, when our body dies.

For me that’s an impossible concept.

For me our Soul never dies we just change form.

I know that Dad would have learn’t lessons from his experience here in this life time and I also believe that he would be so very sorry for his actions. My hope is that us, his siblings will learn our necessary lessons too.

After all… all of the pain on all levels, has to mean something surely?

It can’t be for nothing.

Pinterest.com

Its still raining.

©All Rights Reserved – The boy in the chip shop 2019-20

Author: Michelle Denness

Wife, mother to three incredible kids and aspiring writer/poet. I am passionate about sharing personal stories to empower others and this space is for me to be open and free with my thoughts. This is my journey...

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.