If we are lucky, we are born with a sense of feeling secure. A soft blanket swaddling an infant tightly allows it to relax into a false womb. A childlike belief that your dad is Superman and your mom is Wonder Woman protects you when the world becomes bigger and less certain.
In adulthood, security comes in the forms of wealth or power or love. The balance tips and we feel threatened until we realize just how insecure those elements of our lives can be. Strength is earned through beliefs held; belief in myself is the greatest protection. I wrote once of a broken person who periodically stalks me. Stalking is an emotional threat when done by a clever psychotic. What is interesting is how our society deals with threats and the scale to which they have grown. I had a breakthrough today when I sat in the courthouse filing the legal forms for a protective order.
As I waited, three sets of victims entered and sat to fill out similar reports. The first had a child and perhaps her mother guiding her as she shuffled in dazed fear across the room; her hands shook as she took the reams of paper and pen. The second was resolute and calm. The guards inquired about the car driven by the man she was reporting. They asked if he knew she was there and promised to keep an eye on the parking lot. The third had to leave for work before having her meeting with the judge. She promised to return first thing in the morning. I wondered if the women working behind the counter questioned, as I did, if she actually would show up. She seemed genuinely happy to escape to her job and it occurred to me she probably feels safe there.
I studied the industrial black and white tiles on the floor and thought about safety. Posters on the wall declared the one in twelve women and one in forty-five men will be stalked in their lives. The risks vary. These women are all at different points on the scale of that risk. They came for protection but no one can protect them from their own fear that brought them there. We live in a world fraught with fear. Terror Alert Charts are an everyday monitor of a world where bomb shelters once gave us a sense of safe haven.
I am not without pity for my stalker. I cannot imagine being saddled with a mind that is so damaged To not be held accountable to the simple tenants and morals of most humans – to be deemed incompetent in the eyes of society, to have been locked away then released and expected to live with the demons in one’s head.
I shudder to think what it is like to live having lost every semblance of joy; a child who despises you, a family that has disowned you and no visible means of creating a future. What does one wake up to every morning? What is the point of going on? Ironically it appears it is only to fight these imagined injustices by bullying and harassing others who once showed kindness.
Friends and family, laugh at the absurdity of it all and advise me to do the same. Until now I couldn’t find a way through my anger at being targeted. It occurred to me the one thing this person really wants to take from me is my contentment with life, and we all know she could only take it if I gave it up.
The peeper toads and frogs have moved deeper into the safety of the swamp as the soil has dried, but their songs are just a cheerful. The bees are happily filling the hives. Geography has little bearing on finding security, in truth it begins in your own mind.