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Discussion in 'Avoidance' started by Sandstone, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Sandstone

    Sandstone I'm a VIP

    I've explained to myself repeatedly that the bus is not unsafe. Even when it takes a diversion without warning, even if one blew over (Five hurt after Storm Doris blows over a bus in Walton Highway near Wisbech - bus also thought to have hit lamp post). I have to get on the bus, so it is safe. I can sit downstairs near the driver, so it isn't unsafe.

    But today on the way to therapy, a man fell out of his seat onto a woman across the aisle, then slipped to the floor and stayed there. Then, coming back a woman was shouting all over the bus about how she had smashed a windscreen on one bus to get back at her ex, who was a bus driver, and could do it again. She told anyone who verged on eye contact about hitting her social worker because said ex didn't turn up to a custody hearing. Lots more, for 90 minutes.

    I know it is just cowardice, but how do you overcome fear when your formerly irrational fears are confirmed?
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  3. Xena

    Xena Active Member

    Hi @Sandstone... I honestly think it was just a bad day to be on a bus...... Sounds awful..... I don't do public transport except for trams... I cycle... In all weathers..

    Overcoming fear... Tough one.... Some say hit it head on... Others baby steps.... I don't know... I guess whatever feels OK ish for you... Take care
    Sandstone and Rain like this.
  4. Ragdoll Circus

    Ragdoll Circus I'm a VIP Premium Member

    If I need to be on public transport? Headphones, and lots of efforts directed to listening to my music and my breathing.

    When stuff gets out of control (and it tends to on public transport), I’m going to notice. That’s just how it is. But noticing doesn’t need to mean getting distressed. I try and thank my brain for noticing, remind myself that it’s unpleasant but I am still safe, then bring the focus back to my breathing.

    I think that there are some situations in life that will never be Pleasant; let alone fun. Public transport can be a pretty random experience. Maybe instead of trying to persuade yourself that “this is safe”, start with something easier: this is unpleasant, I don’t want to be here, but I’m one of the thousands using public transport today who will get home just fine.
    Sandstone, illusionist, Rain and 2 others like this.
  5. Rain

    Rain Believe the children Premium Member

    This is a tough one...for me and I imagine a lot of other people here too.

    First off it is not cowardice, I have not yet had to use public transport and I do not look forward to it if I have to use it.

    I think instead of trying to talk yourself out of it, try to just feel the feelings and try to get them out in expressing the fears to acknowledge them and to then honor your feelings and try to focus on the facts or the truth.

    I think you had an awful day and I do understand being so triggered by the thoughts. It happens to me a lot with a few things and I am trying this now. What ever you choose to do trust your gut feelings and bring a journal with you if you feel up to just writing about it. Baby steps seems good. I am going to start practicing this with my worst triggers too and see if it really works. Maybe if you can bring a friend or someone you consider safe if that is possible for the hardest times you know you will have. Good luck and keep us updated on what you find that does work.:hug::hug::hug:
    Sandstone and Ragdoll Circus like this.
  6. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    I like this. Admit that it sucks and do it anyway. I sit near the door, right behind the driver so I can see in the drivers mirror what is going on behind me and put on my headphones. I'm not friendly, and I don't care because I have my escape when things go wrong.
    Ragdoll Circus likes this.
  7. Sandstone

    Sandstone I'm a VIP

    Yes, that is what I usually do, but that is because usually I'm trying to stop myself being unnecessarily vigilant. In this case, I thought there was a genuine risk, and I wanted to be aware of what was happening. Perhaps my standard rule, that I won't get off the bus, because then I'd be alone in a strange place wasn't useful here, but I couldn't think beyond that. I set myself that rule precisely because I know I can't rely on my thinking when I am afraid.

    Normally, that is pretty much where I am. If the group of special needs people who are on the bus in the morning happen to be loud and active I can be aware that his is just a group of people who don't feel the need to conform to the "quiet and detached" norm. This woman went way beyond that. She started loud and angry, and moved on to becoming threatening. She said more than once that she had been banned from the buses before and didn't care if she was again.

    I have to do this journey every week. The only way I can see to manage it is to deny any fear, and criticize myself for feeling it. I know that isn't a healthy approach, but it is practical.
    Ragdoll Circus likes this.
  8. Freida

    Freida Been There, Done That, Lived to Tell the Story Premium Member

    OK wait a sec. I think I may have misunderstood you at the beginning. So lemme try again.
    You have an ongoing fear of riding the bus that you are working on overcoming (very brave by the way!)
    You had two experiences in one day that confirmed for you that the bus can be dangerous. one was a male falling to the floor - possibly a medical issue? and the other was an out of control passenger.

    Here's what I think you are missing ---- Those were both very frightening things! I'm guessing most of the people on the bus were afraid.
    I think you may be so worried about "unreasonable fears" that you forget that sometimes scary things happen and you have to deal with them. So here's my question. Did you allow an unreasonable fear get into your head and confirm that all public transportation is bad? Or did you experience a genuine risk, adapt to the situation, survive and move past it?

    I'm wondering if you are forgetting to give yourself credit for seeing, acknowledging and dealing with a truly scary situation! Instead of beating yourself up for being fearful, can you look at it as actually reacting correctly to a fearful situation? And can you use that help build your confidence that you CAN deal with something scary that happens while you are on the bus. Any time you ride public transportation something may happen that is scary or just freaks you out. But look at how you handled it when it happened! You kept it together, noticed it was different, thought about how you reacted and jumped on this site to ask for info from those who could understand your fears.

    You should be proud of yourself - not chastising yourself! It's not about denying fear. It's about how you respond to the things that make you afraid. This was a perfect example.
    Xena, Ragdoll Circus and Sandstone like this.
  9. Sandstone

    Sandstone I'm a VIP

    Yes, it links to a very strange assault associated with public transport, plus my fear of being trapped, plus an unwillingness to go out alone

    I see what you mean though about the difference between those fears based in PAST realities, compared with these PRESENT dangers. What I need to do is find a way not to let those events magnify the past. The trouble is that my go-to strategy is to ignore it.
    Freida and Rain like this.
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