Living in Fear

I woke up this morning with a sour & heavy feeling in my stomach-- the kind only fear can produce. Do you know the kind of sinking feeling I am talking about? The tense muscles, ringing in the ears, and an abnormal dizziness...

In the past I had recurring episodes of panic; amid any perceived confrontation I would need to sit down for fear of fainting; my mouth would go dry, my legs would ache something fierce, and nausea would peck the confines of my stomach and throat. Adrenaline surges are a horribly overwhelming event. I would react in this manner almost any time I was scared, sad, or angry, such as during an argument with a parent or upsetting discussion with a boyfriend. Over time, and with a bit of help, I exchanged my strange reactions for a more peaceful demeanor. In fact it has been nearly a year since I had such feelings (the last being an abrupt end to the relationship I shared with my then-boyfriend).

What has caused a revisit to such negative emotions? A dream.

Leaving Logan was a bittersweet affair; in the days, weeks, and months prior to my departure I had a couple life-changing experiences, the kind that left me questioning my deepest values. Some situations made me cry out for a sooner escape. Others have left me hurting to return. One specific event, or rather, chain of events, included threats, name-calling, shouting, lies, tears, and even reconciliation followed by awkward togetherness. Abandoning my confusion (something I longed to do for months now) with what defines friendship, and what types of behavior I should forgive and try to understand, meant leaving it all in the sometimes-clean-sometimes-smoggy atmosphere of Logan. What I didn't realize is that getting out into cleaner air would mean looking back to the crap that clogged my filters.

And so I did it. I left, and I have reflected. Quiet days spent on trains with hours of nothing but peaceful scenery invite introspection.

Last night I dreamed I was reliving something similar to the above-described painful events. A "friend" raged against me for visiting a person with whom she has contentions. She found me at my grandmother's house, a safe-haven for family, and threw her harshest words in my face. In the dream, I remember blocking her blows, as if they were physical, and feeling the bodily impact of her words on different parts of myself. The pain was extreme. The fear, even more so. The dream wrapped up with me trying my best to escape, going as far as filing a panicked restraining order with the police as I fled.

When I awoke I was exhausted. I struggled to open my eyes and gain my composure, thinking the dream was real and I still need my fight-or-flight reactions. I was honestly scared shit-less. And I was about to vomit.

I'm sure the dream was a response to the conversation I had the night before. My romantic interest (from here on out defined by the letter J) & I were discussing anger, and the fall outs of angry reactions, such as violence or threats of violence, and the fear that follows. My sentiments are of peace; I wish violence wasn't a part of life. No person is desirous to live in fear. No person wants to check their trail wherever they go, wishing to escape his or her demons. Fear is a reaction to perceived danger, concern for one's physical and/or psychological well-being. I do not wish that upon anyone. Anyhow, the conversation led to recognition of the power-trip some people get off by manipulating other people, especially through the use of threats. And so I 'd like to pose a question: Should we give them the same treatment they have given us? Is eye for an eye a usable model?

I think bullies will miss the meaning of life, but there is no reason to "teach them a lesson." Eventually they will see what they have lost.


  1. Hey its Victoria Felt, a soon to be fellow NCCCer, anyways it weird that you write this because i have been going through a lot at work recently with bullying and harassment and finally the other night turned into threats. I finally decided to stick up for myself, but i still don't understand why some people have that much hate and anger.
    It was weird the way it made me feel too, like i felt very sick.
    I dunno I mainly just wanted to say hi and tell you im a reader...
    see you soon!

  2. Hey Mandy! It is Erin (Rupp). I ran into your blog and thought I would say Hello! I haven't seen you for a long time! It looks like your doing great and enjoying life! Keep in touch!

  3. Amanda Lyn (or can I call you Mandy?): I guess we must be related because I have random bits of nausea, and fainting like feelings. I call them panic attacks. It's interesting to hear you say you get them as well. I know since being a mom I get them more. Stress seems to be a factor, and also lack of sleep can too. Maybe the new adventure you are having is adding to that!
    It's fun to hear of your stories. You are a talented writer with a wonderful ability to paint a portrait with words.
    I pray for you at times. Some parts of life seem scarier now that I am a Mom and I feel on a different level than I have ever before! Kind of like the, "Don't talk to strangers!" line you sometimes hear :)! I think that it could be classified as excessive-compulsive-paranoia!! Really I am excited for you and all the adventures you are having!! I SURE LOVE YOU! I knd of miss the good old Stylish Designs days!

  4. I don't think an eye for an eye solves anything. I also don't believe in turn the other cheek. I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. In tell the person, that you want nothing to do with them -- but tell them so (in the least) in a spirit of releasing them and you from the negative energy or (optimally) in the spirit of loving them and you and getting you both to a more emotionally healthy place.


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