Monday, May 16, 2011

Face the Fear

In my last post I talked about fear. Just the thought of having that fear inside me made me angry enough to do something about it. Before I tell you what I did, I will tell you the reasons I have for being afraid to leave the house:

1. I'm safe at home. My abuser is not IN the house, but he is OUT of the house. I want to be wherever he is not.

2. I'm scared of him and what he may do. I think about what it was like living with him and having to walk on eggshells all the time. Why would I want to go out and walk on those again? I seriously don't know what he would do - he's capable of doing anything.

3. I don't want to see him. If I stay home, the chances are far less of me having to see him. Why don't I want to see him? Because of how I feel when I do. I feel fear of what he may do or say, I feel so much loss for things I haven't even begun to grieve yet, and I feel a deep, deep sadness that things had to go the way they did.

4. I'm watched when I'm out. There are people who drive by my house just to see if I'm home or what I am doing. There are a few people who report to him or his counterpart when I'm out, where I go and who I'm with. I feel like I am being stalked. If I stay home, I can't be watched.

All that being said, I decided to face my fear the other night. The children were out of town, so I decided to go for a walk, alone, at night. I haven't done that since our separation. I've been too scared to. So, I left home around 9:15pm. By the time I got 4 houses away, I was shaking and already wanting to burst into tears and run back home. I didn't. I was intensely aware of every sound, every noise... everything. I am the type that if I am going to face one fear, I am going to face more. So, not only did I walk alone, I walked by my abusers house, about 2 blocks from where I live. I wanted to run home, but I didn't. By the time I got to my preplanned destination (the Corner Store) I probably looked like I had seen a ghost. The guy working there was looking at me strange because he knew something was wrong. When I left the Corner Store, I faced another fear: I sat on the steps of the church building of people who have hurt me immensely through this whole ordeal. I haven't been in that building since the last Sunday I attended there, back in September. I found peace and release from the pain and hurt they caused.

I made it home safe and sound. I checked all around the house to make sure there were no intruders - all was fine.

Facing fears are hard to do. I don't say that the one walk will have conquered all my fear, but he has put a big dent it in. Just to get out and make myself face some things that were holding me back from freedom is a step in the right direction.

Every step, no matter how big or how small, is still a step. And, each one is important.

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