My own paranoia about the crazy world we live in has led me down a dark path of constantly planning my escape routes if I happen to get caught up in those dark places most of us see only in our nightmares. I ponder the worst case scenario in nearly everything of my daily life. It’s become an obsession of sorts that I’ve learned not to share with most other people…until now.
It transcends everything, from the most miniscule, to the nearly impossible. What would I do if I were held up at gunpoint? House fire? Attacked at the club? Pushed onto the train tracks when a train is coming? Being followed by a stranger?
Is this normal? I’m starting to think it’s not.
I first noticed my obsession several months ago when talking to Shelby. She was questioning me about where I was then-living and if I was safe. Fortunately I had already thought this all the way through.
“The way I see it cous, my apartment is located on a busy intersection near downtown Brooklyn. Because I use well-lit, very busy streets to walk home from the train late at night if someone was following me it would be easy to get attention,” I matter-of-factly explained. “Worst case scenario, if they decided to kill me there would be witnesses. They’re not going to get away with it.”
She just stared at me dumbfounded. “So that makes you feel safe?”
“Absolutely! Imagine if it was dark. They could carry me off somewhere and no one would be around to hear my screams. I don’t know if it gets much safer than this cous.”
Several years ago I made sure all of my emergency contacts in my phone were saved as “ICE, [insert name here].” ICE is an abbreviation for “in case of emergency.” I want to make it as easy as possible to alert my parents, Aunt Lynne and Grandma that something has happened to me when my phone is found if I ever turn up missing.
In the aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s murder, much credibility has been placed on his phone records, namely his contact with his girlfriend, to map out the order of events. Since then, now when I am commuting after dark on the trains I maintain full text conversations with my love-if he’s expecting a confirmation in 20 minutes that I’ve arrived safely and never receives it, he knows what’s up and is able to contact the authorities.
I find myself taking mental notes of EVERYTHING nowadays it seems. If someone stares at me a second too long during my commute, I refuse to let them out of my sight. When I’m standing on the platform, waiting for a train to come I try to stand outside of arms reach of anyone nearby-I don’t want to risk them pushing me down, into an oncoming train. If a stranger does something TOO nice for me I question their intent and don’t have peace about it.
Honestly, all of this second guessing, untrustworthiness and “planning” for an unsightly end that will probably never come has been driving me bananas! Why can’t I just “let go and let God” like everyone else seems to effortlessly be doing?! Of course I pray for my safety and understand that Jesus has my back, but that is meager consolation when I consider the fact that Christians are victims of violent crimes every day. I’m sure they prayed (and had others praying for them) and trusted Him to protect them. And then we saw their body on the 5 o’clock news or read about their demise on MSN’s homepage.
Smh, I just don’t know what to do. But in the meantime, while I’m attempting to figure this one out, let me go ahead and double check to make sure all my doors and windows are locked…