big bad wolf

I have stranger danger.  This heightened awareness of harm that may happen to me.  Gruesome scenarios my mind imagines.

I will never park next to a van.  Especially the ones that look like child molester vans.  You know which ones I am talking about.  Someone could just grab you as you are getting into your car.

I don’t wear my hair in a pony tail when I walk in the park or go on a hike.  The predator can just grab you by the pony tail and you have no way of defending yourself.

I keep my keys in my hand when I am walking towards my car.  Defense mode.

When I enter an elevator I stand next to the emergency call button.  Just in case someone wants to hold a knife or gun to my side.  Forethought.

I lock the door behind me as soon as I get in the car.  I don’t linger in parking lots.  Man with a gun.

I lock the door behind me when I enter my home. Home invasion.

I don’t open my door unless I am expecting a visitor or I look out and it is the mail delivery person.  Home invasion.

I am constantly looking for an escape route.  Too many crime shows.

I know that if something is going to happen, my best defense is the escape plan.  and maybe my very loud screaming voice.

I watch Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU.  I read books about rape and murder and abduction.  I think that they have helped me instead of hurt me.

I am writing this post because the other day I was at the mall.  It was sunny and hot out so I  wanted to park in the garage.  Just like everyone else it appeared.  The only open space I found was one next to a child molester looking van.  I passed the space by twice.  It is one of my rules.  After the third time around I talked myself into parking next to it.  It took so much courage for me to open my car door and step foot on the parking lot.  Deep breaths.  In and out. When I finally did get the courage to step out, the vans sliding door opens.  I SCREAMED so loud I probably attracted every zombie within miles.  Scared to death I dropped my bags and ran to the back of my car.  Then I looked back.  Not really sure why I was still standing there but I needed my bags and my purse which were on the ground.  I stood staring at that open door for what seemed like forever.  Then this young mother peeks out and sees me.  She was breast feeding her child.  Seriously?  I almost peed in my pants.  I scared myself to death and probably scared her too!  I walked back between the cars, picked up my bags, hurriedly apologized to the young mother and swiftly walked away.  Embarrassed and still shaking.

I know you shouldn’t live your life in fear but this story could have had a very different ending.  I know that.  My heightened awareness in not crippling.  It is simply being aware of my surroundings and taking pre-cautions, thinking of an escape plan and being ready to face the scenario.