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The beast which is fear

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Fear is just one of the most powerful emotions and feelings we get.  We have it to avoid any physical and emotional responses to potential pain of any kind that a variety of situations and circumstances can lead us into fear and we can often take control. 

Anxiety is something in which is hard to control, unlike a natural instinct or reflex, it can be brought on by the most minor of things but you can feel like you have absolutely no control. For more about this, see my blog post I wrote last year: 'Anxiety'

Are the two alike? Maybe. Are they the same?....absolutely not.

 I have written below about a situation I was in that truly made me fearful if you choose to have a read 

My fearful situation

On Friday (yesterday) I got on a bus into town, the bus was empty and it was just myself and my mum sitting on it talking about the lovely day we had after visiting some family. When the bus stopped at the next bus stop I thought:
 "surely not, there is no way they are going to let those people on".
They couldn't walk in a straight line, their speech slurred and their hands and pockets full of cans of beer. I understand that it was Friday, but it was 3:30pm in the afternoon. The bus driver allowed four drunken, loud, terrifying men onto the bus. Old leather jackets, torn jeans, missing teeth, smelling of cheap booze and not a care in the world. Their faces still haunt me even whilst writing this. Out of all of the empty seats on the bus, they sat around close to me and my mother. One started touching the ends of my hair instantly and I had to move closer to mum. I was terrified.
I have witnessed drunk people before but I have never had such a personal up close experience before as bad as this one. I remember just picking at my nails, my anxiety levels were slowly rising.

That's not even the worst of it, their do I even start? It was vile, dirty and foul. I never want to even repeat what they said to anyone, but it included talking about indecent topics, and we got called everything under the sun, we were just two ladies sitting on the bus. I even heard them comment on stuff about metal illness disorders which is not okay, it was like they could sense my fear. The worst part of it all, the bus driver did nothing. Two got off and there were just two more men left, the ones sitting behind us. The drunkest out of all of the men. At this point I was shaking.

"I have to move to the front mum away from these people" I whispered to my mum. So I did.
"Aww look at the sweet baby girl moving away" They shouted at me. Their verbal abuse started making me cry actual tears and my mum moved next to me. 

An elderly lady walked on alone at the next bus stop and she was speechless, she stared at them in shock and saw me crying. I wanted to get off. "mum I'm having a panic attack!" My mum actually spoke up and said to the drunk guys "Can you please stop, you're giving my daughter a panic attack" and they gave threats to my mum which I didn't hear, my sound just blacked out I was so fearful for what may happen.  A fight, more panic attacks, pain, who knew what they were going to do when the bus driver was allowing all of this to happen?
 At this point I saw my mum crying and that was the most painful thing to see, I love my mum so so much and I always want to protect her the way she protects me at that exact moment I was so angry, "I want to get off of this bus!" They carried on with their language and abuse, and the bus driver just stopped the bus on a main road and opened the doors and looked at me, with an unsympathetic look, sure it was okay for him protected behind the glass door in the drivers seat... although getting off was the one thing that I wanted and it was what I said I wanted, but it was a place far away from anything we recognised and it was in the middle of no where and the thought of getting off there made me panic more, my mum told the bus driver to carry on a little bit longer. I have full respect for bus drivers, they're likely not supposed to get involved, but surely there must be a rule in place not to allow very drunk people on in the middle of the day when their are vulnerable people on it, imagine I was all alone. However, the next part just bothered me a lot, the men decided that they wanted to get off at the stop where the bus driver had opened the doors, FINALLY. They walking towards the door and then the driver shut the door on them so they couldn't get out!!! Why?? They didn't deserve to be on there in the first place, why the heck did he keep them on that bus knowing that it was upsetting us all? He honestly didn't seem to have a care in the world.

They were at the front, they were standing this time near me and my mum again...just staring down at us. We tried to avoid eye-contact and kept quiet, even if we wanted to get off we couldn't now! The next stop came and they refused to get off, the lady spoke up at last.
"Just get off the bus, just go! Just leave! You are upsetting people, go, go!" The bus driver also finally decided to step in and told them to get off now (yeah...'now')
They didn't leave the bus in fact they came towards the elderly lady then moved forward towards my mother, inches away from her face swearing, threatening, ready to hit and his fist in the air. That image keeps giving me nightmares, the flashbacks make me feel sick to my stomach. My mum let out a little scream and she was so scared.
The lady stepped in and carried on shouting for him to get off the bus and he was tempted to go hit her and walked up close to her face but his mate stopped him from doing anything , at least one of the drunk guys got the hint they should go and it took him a long while to get off the bus, I felt trapped and that is such a horrible feeling.

Finally, we all got off safely at our stop and what did the bus driver say to us? "Oh sorry, I should never have let them on this bus" You don't say? Do you know the worst part? These so called "men" were at least 50-60 years old. They were no gentleman. How has society got this bad? Making mothers and their children and elderly women scared, feeling a crazy amount of fear.  The feeling of not being safe, the possibility of being hurt is the most scariest feeling. It may not sound too bad on writing, but it was a living nightmare yesterday.

My main aim for that day was to get on the bus with mum to try and learn the routes so I felt safer on buses, I wanted to feel less anxiety. But after a long day of doing just that, they ruined my confidence and it will be a while before I get on a bus again. I'll try not to let it affect me next time, it was hopefully just a one off. Also, yes, we reported the incident.

This was a day that made me fearful.


So let me remind you again.
Anxiety: No meaning- It can be triggered by anything, but you feel like it will never end but it always does at some point. This is more psychological but it is the worst, most real feeling in the world, you feel like you cannot escape and it can be hard.
Fear: Has meaning- you know the threatening situation better, but you are unsure of how it will end. This is more real. However, you will always know there is a possibility of an escape and you can eventually forget about it.


Be aware of it  Identify it  And forget it

Much like I wrote about in my posts about Anxiety & Panic Attacks. Never let anything ever control what you do, live your life how it makes you happy. I decided to write this post today not just to discuss the differences but to encourage everyone not to let fear rule their life. Sure, it may be a while before I step back on a bus, but I want to, because buses are just another way of transport when you need to get around without a car. That's it. I'll keep that in mind. Whatever you may be fearing, try and face your fear, you'll benefit from it. Just give it a go and get advice and support from people you trust if it helps, to be there to cheer you on and encourage you.

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