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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Sides


How do you distance yourself from fear?

Since I moved out on my own I have been having sudden irrational attacks of fear. As the light goes out at night. Is that shadow a person, an attacker? Did I lock the door? Is the smoke I smell my neighbors smoking again or is the building on fire?

Random fears paralyze me.

My mom keeps trying to get me to take a baseball bat home with me and keep it by the bed. A baseball bat. On the off chance that someone is downstairs and I have to hit them. This means that they have broken in, gotten past my prone to bark dog, do not wake up my neighbors, and get up the stairs and into my room. It is stupid, irrational and straight out of a b-rated horror movie.

It is irrational and I know that but it keeps getting reinforced by everyone I talk to. It is not safe for a woman to be living alone, I am constantly told. I am not small, frail looking, or weak. Yet somehow I am being viewed as such. “Oh, the poor helpless single woman living alone!” Why does it seem that I am being written off as the crazy (eccentric) lady who lives alone with her dog?

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