Someone wrote to me the other day, telling me how they are (going through a little bad patch) and that they still don’t like being alone with strange men. They are in their 60’s; no longer 4 years old, but much older, wiser, more experienced and yet they still have this foible resulting from having been abused as a child.
I have one too – I don’t like being a passenger in someone else’s car. I don’t like sitting in the front seat seeing the traffic coming from a different angle. I fear we will crash, or an animal will jump out in front of us from nowhere and we will crash that way.
Previously, I didn’t know where this came from, but it struck me, a grown woman in my 40’s who has driven the length and breadth of the UK for years, that it was a bit ridiculous. And it gets worse, not better!
I then read one of my favourite blogs, The School of Life, and they did an article about how, if you fear The End of the World, then it has already happened. If you fear strange men, then something happened with strange men. If you fear sudden death, then sudden death was a possibility or a reality for you at some stage.
Aaahh!!! There it is. I have ‘a thing’ because of what happened!!
So I’m just putting it out there…. Do you have a thing? Is it related to what happened to you? Do you want to resolve it? Or do you just live with it?
My partner drives slowly for me, so that I don’t start clinging onto the seat with both hands and making him worry. He doesn’t go in the fast lane. He is a man’s man and probably drives normally when I’m not there, but for me he caters to the fallout from what happened to me.
Because he drives slowly, I relax. Because he is calm, I’m calmer and can see how silly my fear is.
But it has struck me that something has been put into my life at a very early age and I don’t know enough about the brain to know whether it can ever go away. It may be one of those things that I just live with, although care and openness with it does help.
This post is just for survivors really, just for us to be able to explore and say, ‘Hey yeah, me too. I do this thing where….’ and we can just be as we are, with our different experiences and coping mechanisms. In a funny way, we make the truth visible when we have these things and we make care visible when we treat them kindly.