In response.

Yeah, I was vague. Sort of intentionally, because I don't like to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

So here's the deal:

When I was little, I developed a huge fear of being kidnapped. It kept me up at night, it kept me constantly vigilant and fearful. It's important to note that I grew up in very safe and peaceful rural suburbia. Nevertheless, instead of sitting on the backseat of my mom's Jeep Cherokee, I sat behind the driver's seat, on the floor. I was afraid that if the kidnappers saw me, they'd come after me and hurt my mom in the process. I wasn't quite as scared when my dad was in the car, too, but I still regarded every car we passed or that passed us with wariness and suspicion. This couldn't have been normal - an otherwise healthy 8 year old with so little trust in the world - but that's how it was. I got over it eventually, though I still imagined horrible harm with a weird clarity. Driving home from a friend's house at 16, I was so worried about a driver behind me (I thought he was following me so he could run me off the road and kill me) that I called 911. Of course the guy wasn't following me, but that wasn't the last time I called 911 with such concerns.

After high school I spent a year in Sweden before going to college. After the darkest winter imaginable (though I did see the northern lights at like 4 pm, which was very cool), I was dying for sunlight. I went to the Canary Islands - Fuerteventura - with a friend to recover from the season of endless night. On our last night there, I was walking alone from a restaurant to our hotel and was abducted and assaulted by a coked-out local who'd probably seen me leave. I'm fine - I'm so lucky - but it's not lost on me that I'd spent years fearing what had ultimately come to pass.

That's why the comment about how constant worrying can become a prayer for the negative. The comment about object fixation; it interests me because I think it's very true, and not just in mountain biking.

And as for inner peace, well, when I'm raging inside, I think about this, the siren song of tortured (or, ahem, melodramatic) artists:
"one must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
-Frederich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, part I


Libby said...

Ahh, okay. I've been following along since your post on Grrr to Great. I didn't comment yesterday because somehow I felt you weren't quite finished with the story. Now the part about worrying becoming a prayer for the negative makes alarming sense.

I am sorry about what you experienced in the Canary Islands and I am glad that you are okay, not just okay relative to Fuerteventura but also relative to your demons in general. You are one strong and insightful girl.

I Love Your Whole Face said...

I agree with Libby. I was waiting for the ending too. I am so sorry to hear what happened to you, but considering I think you are handling it well. I know you run a lot too, that usually helps me. Whenever I have huge problems, they don't seem as big after a run. I hope that helps. Otherwise, there is always peanut butter M&Ms. I am a strong believer in them!!

KatieGirlBlue said...

Thankyou, ladies. Today is fine, and I feel strong and solid. I'm grateful.

Yep, running is the best in tough times, as is talking to my husband (he's a terrific listener). As is having a dog (I can't look at Arnie and Red and not smile).

And I totally agree that certain foods, like red chips and salsa or swedish fish, actually contain healing powers. Yep, it's true.

AFRo said...

That is a terrifying thing for anyone to experience I'm sure. I cannot even imagine, but it is certainly ironic that your fear came to pass.

I'm glad to hear that you're on the up and up today. I'm off tomorrow and spending the day with my boys. HooRay! And for the first time in about 25 years, we are under a winter storm advisory and the forecast is 3 to 5 inches! My boys are 5&6 and they've never seen enough snow to make snowballs! I'm terribly excited!

Jen Yu said...

I only recently found your blog via Cindy (figs, lavender, and cheese). I think you share something similar to my mother about worst fears being realized. My mom constantly worried about my sister and I getting killed by any means possible - to the point of being ridiculous. And then one day a few years ago she got a call that my sister had died in a car accident. I have to say that you have dealt with your harrowing experience and have learned to move on a little better than my mother has. They obviously aren't the same, but it's clear that there are healthy ways to deal with tragedy and hardship and not so healthy ways. So I hope that you continue to heal and allow yourself to become a stronger woman from your experiences, knowing that you have survived and will continue to thrive on your energy and love for life. All the best.

KatieGirlBlue said...

Oh, Jen, what a sad story. I'm sorry. I'm glad you wrote, though. I've been enjoying your blog. And Afro, I hope your boys got to enjoy big snows today! Complete with the delightful post-snow warm-up and hot chocolate. That's my favorite part.

Cindy said...

Yep--it's all making sense. You know the morning I crashed my scooter, I noticed other patches of oil that I could see on the wet ground and actually thought "maybe this is the morning my luck runs out and I have my first big accident." I had never thought that before. Did anxiety cause me to brake too hard? Was it a premonition? Dunno. But I've also been plagued with fears that my daughter will be kidnapped, and that hasn't happened. (Yet? I work hard to keep this to myself because it's my problem, not hers.) It's all part of life, and I don't think it ever makes sense, but it makes us who we are. You: strong, thoughtful, courageous. You rock.