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Good Afternoon Everyone - Fear Of Random Violence

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by ~CQ~, May 13, 2007.

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  1. ~CQ~

    ~CQ~ New Member

    Hello everyone, just a post to say hi as have registered after viewing some helpful info on here.

    I'm a 20yr old female from GTR Manchester, UK.

    I've been suffering from extreme fear of walking anywhere even slightly remote day or night, and being in the house alone for fear there is an attacker in the house for 6 years now. Since a friend of mine was subject to a very random but violent attack as we were walking one evening (we were 14yrs) this fear started midly at the time but over the years has gotten worse.

    The police caught the attacker at the time due to witnessess, he was brought to court but amazingly found not guilty (long, weird story.)
    Now the fear is ruling my life.If I am in the house alone I will check every room and every possible hiding place (walking around my hose with a knife) I cant have a bath if i am in the house alone for the fear that if someone has broke in they could easily drown me, I have all the doors locked and the television on very low at any given point so I can hear for noises in the house.

    If I am in a taxi I will read the registration plate and when I am in the taxi make a phone call home so the driver can very clearly hear me tell my dad the reg number, model of the taxi, firm, the route we are taking etc etc. (this gets me some funny looks!).

    if I am walking and it is dark even if it is local, if there is a man coming towards me and there is no one else about I will walk up a random driveway and pretend that is my chosen destination, even knock on the door of that house (which could be potentially more dangerous) just to aviod walking past the oncoming man.

    I try telling myself to be realistic stop being silly etc etc but I can't shake this mindset. And the news just justifys my behaviour. A 20yr old asian girl was stabbed in her bedroom on friday night, less than half a mile away from my home. less than a year a ago a 14 year old boy was murdered by another boy his age on the park 200 yards away from my home. The world just feels like a horrible dangerous place for me at the moment.

    I think I've probably said far more than should be mentioned in an ice breaker introduction (apologies!) but honestly, if anyone can identify with any of the above and can help or give an advice it would be greatly greatly appreciated.


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  3. Lisa

    Lisa Well-Known Member

    Hi CQ, fellow Brit :thumbs-up

    Welcome. I get fear of attackers being in my flat at night too... comes in phases, but it renders me insomniac sometimes. Sounds awful what you went through. Sounds like your PTSD comes out as obsessional... understandable considering. I know what you mean about the news... I can't watch it. Maybe doing that could help you for a start, until you have worked through your trauma?

    I hope that you find it helpful here...

    See you around,

  4. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    Hi CQ, welcome to the forum. What you describe is agoraphobia at its worst basically, and a couple of other things, though all very achievable in for you to get past "IF" you really want it. The trick to these things is starting very very small, then slowly building your way up, not trying to just take on getting in a cab and not taking details, or going for a walk down the most dangerous street at night (which would just be silly to begin with).

    You have to look at what you do in its entirety, being from the smallest to largest issue, then in your case because its so extreme, begin with the smallest first. As you increase beating your own brains protection mechanisms, you then increase the pace, possibly even skipping smaller issues and going for larger ones, which simply subside the more insignificant issues as you beat them.

    Exposure therapy is the relevant therapy for what your explaining... and the facts are, only you can make yourself better, nobody can do this for you.
  5. ~CQ~

    ~CQ~ New Member

    Thanks Lisa and Anthony. :smile:

    The news doesn't help at all you're right. Theres never any GOOD news on!

    i have tried on many occasions to try and think rationally and try to overcome the fear of being in the house alone. Sometimes I do quite well, reading seems to work to try and divert my mind. But then it just takes one noise in the house to ruin anything and the terrified feeling washes over me and there is just NOTHING I can do to make that go away.

    I have read information on the exposure therapy after your suggestions Anthony and agree this mentality and approach seems right. The mentioning of relaxation practise and techniques I think will be particularly useful for me to do as I am quite an anxious person in day to day life, even when I'm not feeling fear.

    Thanks for the input guys, much appreciated.
  6. Tiana

    Tiana Member

    I suffer the same way. I was also the victim of a random violent attack at age 14, and at 34, if I step out of the house for like a minute, I have to search every room and say menacing things outloud in case "someone" is there to get me. I walk outside and take a pen and a ciggarette for defense when I must go outside at all. If I have to drive, I feel like I'm being followed, so I stop a grocery for 5 minutes, then leave and see if there are any cars following me from there to my home.
    When I see young girls walking alone, I become overwhelmed with dread. I write a description of them and where they were walking and at what time, in case someone goes missing, I live near to a public place where kids sometimes play, and every scream day or night goes checked. If I go to the laundry and I see shady men who "menace" me, I write all their info, plate #'s and I've told my husband of a hiding place in the car where he can find it, just in case. Also, if I leave the house, I leave a detailed list of what it is I'm wearing from clothes to undergarments to jewlery to footwear, again, just in case.
    It's so hard to shake that paranoia, especially when we are told that the type of crime done to us is "only a tiny percentile of crime out there". That's what Jamie Floyd (from Court TV) told me when I emailed her during the Carlie Brucia case, when I pointed out that that small percentile seemed to happen a lot, Ms. Floyd informed my it was the media sensationalizing Stranger Danger.
    I do ramble, I apologise. I have found that if I can try to distract my mind with puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku, I can practice focus on the rational part of my brain. When I do that, I do breathing exercises if I find it hard to focus. I also had to stay away from Court TV, all the crime documentaries (I'm a huge crime buff, and i have a certification as a Criminal Profiler), as well as to stay away from the news for a bit. It was hard for me, but in the long run, I'm able to watch what I want know almost trigger free.

    I hope this is helpful in some way, at least to let you know you're not alone.
  7. cactus_jack

    cactus_jack I'm a VIP

    Lisa, how well do I know what you're talking about. My fear isn't that someone is in my home, but that they can enter my home and literally do anything they wish. Last time someone did that I tried defending myself and I was arrested.
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