A month ago I wrote about the traumatizing experience of having a gun pointed at me while someone tried to steal my car.
I don’t know how long it takes other people to deal with experiences like mine. My aunt described the way I feel as PTSD, but I don’t know about that. I just know that I feel different from how I felt before it happened.
Here are some of the ways this experience has colored my life:
I Drive Less
No matter whom I’m with or when I’m driving, whenever I hear or see a motorcycle my gut tightens and my heart starts racing. Unless I am with other people, I only drive in a small radius around my neighborhood. I don’t feel comfortable exploring this city now. I continue going to the same places because I know that they are safer.
I don’t walk as much as I used to. I don’t like walking on the street, seeing motorcycles, and feeling exposed. I used to walk to the market every weekend. It was about a 15-minute walk there and back and it was something I looked forward to (even if it did cut off the circulation to my arms a couple of times!). Now I drive to the market in the very early morning before many people are there.
One of my great loves in life is Cuban Salsa/Salsa Casino. The only place that I can get to to practice salsa is in a pretty sketchy part of town. I’ve driven to a restaurant that is only a couple of blocks away and I wanted to turn around because I didn’t feel safe there- and I had a friend with me at the time. I was fine going salsa dancing by myself all over the world, but I can’t make myself drive to this salsa studio by myself. Sadly nobody I know wants to go salsa dancing (or to Bachata class for that matter), nor are they excited about going to a salsa club because there are no guys we know who can dance. Sigh.
Basically I stay inside my apartment a lot. Good thing I’m great at entertaining myself! I write blog posts, research future trips, do a little online shopping, do workout videos, read a ton, watch movies and TV shows on my computer, and talk to friends and family online. I did all of these things before, now I just do them more.
I wouldn’t say that I’m unhappy. In fact, I feel pretty content most of the time. I do feel a little constrained. These feelings are not enough to scare me away from Valencia at this point, but I can see how I wont be able to here if life continues like this forever….
How long does it take before you get over scary experiences?