Human Highlights: Fears & Breakthroughs

Human Highlights is a Sunday tradition at Commode To Joy. It’s a friendly reminder to forgive your human moments, celebrate the highlights, and enjoy life’s little lovelies in the interim.

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Human Moment: Finishing a walk around the area near our hotel in St. Louis, I cross the street. A man, somewhere around my age, walks at a much slower pace than the norm, headed in the same direction as me.

He’s big – tall and bulky – wearing loose clothing with his hood up hiding most of his face. His brown beard contrasts against his pale skin, his hands shoved into his pants pockets, pockets that are big enough to conceal…

Is he armed?

Is he going to attack me?

Wracking my brain for self-defense tips, I recall nothing.

Is he eyeing me through the building’s reflective glass?

Can he tell that I’m eyeing him?

My brisk pace quickly narrows the distance between us. I pause and consider walking back the way I came just in case. Back to where a group of four people, three adults with a baby in a stroller, were walking. But they’re already gone. It’s just me and this bulk of a man who could easily overpower me.

I’m an easy target – small statured female, walking alone, with no one else in sight. I take a deep breath and continue my initial path back to the hotel.

I pass him trying to appear casual, face forward, book in one hand, the other in my pocket.

Can he sense my unease, my fear?

Once past him, I keep my ears alert to any sudden movement behind me, but his steps remain languid. The distance between us grows as the hotel’s entrance comes into view.

He’s safe after all, but it’s not until I’m back in the hotel that I feel safe.

The truth is, any time I’m alone in public, I fear being attacked. I’ve been afraid of it ever since I was a little girl and first learned the word “rape”. Unlike the Boogie Man, I knew that attackers were real (which gave me one more thing to check for under my bed).

Surely I’m not alone in this. Are other women haunted by this fear? Constantly walking briskly, glancing over your shoulder and through reflective glass, keeping eyes and ears alert, looking for witnesses, just one other person, who might come to the rescue?

Unfortunately, I’m guessing the answer is yes. And while I wish fear of attack wasn’t a part of the human experience, it is.

Normally, my Human Moments are lighthearted – today I was going to write about typos! – then this happened. It’s a serious topic, and one that’s worth discussion.

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Highlight: I (finally!) had a breakthrough with my blog this week. Finally! I’ve been wondering for sometime why traffic has been low on my site. Don’t even think about suggesting it’s because my posts aren’t that good – I’ll have to disagree with you.

Anyway, I realized this week that the silly privacy setting for my blog was on “Private” instead of “Public”. Earth to Jamie!!! For my fellow WordPress peeps out there, if you haven’t already made this switch, do.

My last post gained more likes and followers than any other I’ve written, and it doesn’t come close to having the highest views. By changing my site to Public, it appeared in the WordPress reader, and my gosh people actually clicked on it!

I know I know, this doesn’t apply to the majority of folks reading this post (and I thank you for reading!) But hey, this is about celebrating the Highlights, and this is a huge one for me.

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Life’s Little Lovelies: Ferris Wheel Faces

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City Museum – St. Louis, MO

What are your Human Highlights from the week?

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7 thoughts on “Human Highlights: Fears & Breakthroughs

  1. Katy says:

    Yes!!! All the time. ALWAYS on alert. Especially walking in the city but pretty much anywhere. I feel like I’m paranoid but its not paranoia because its legitimately happened a few times over the years… my arm Grabbed on a crowded street (lincoln and fullerton)….. threatened walking up Clark, a busy street in Lincoln Park after walking for ice cream (*a man walked up behind and whispered he was going to hurt us)…. and once walking home from dance class around 9, I was followed so closely on Belden that I just dropped my bag with my dance gear in it and ran til I got to the next busy street. Isn’t it crazy how much we go into fight or fight being women?

    Like

    • Jamie Muscato says:

      Oh my gosh Katy. Yes, it’s crazy and it’s upsetting. Today is the first time
      I’ve felt prompted to action – think I’ll actually sign up for a self-defense class so that I can feel (hopefully) less afraid and more equipped. So that I can take action against the fear instead of feeling helpless because of it.

      Like

  2. hiyacynthia says:

    The answer is not always yes. I refuse to live in fear anymore in most situations. If something does happen, I will deal with it then. My mother hates this attitude of mine and doesn’t understand it. I taught myself not to fear anymore on purpose. It was taking too much away from my own human experience. Take some self defense classes and become empowered. It does help. I battled the feeling recently and understand it, though, so I know I need an empowerment refresher myself. I was shocked when the feeling snuck up on me and I don’t like it at all, so I’m detetmined to rid myself of it once again! Thanks for the reminder to attend to my need.

    Like

  3. Valerie Kruzan says:

    Jamie, you asked what are my human highlights for this week. Well, I had a very pleasant one. A young woman whom I’ve taken under my wing in the last few years acknowledged me publicly…fortunately anonymously. She wanted the group she was speaking to know of her struggles; one being depression. With the depression she had given up on many things like her education. She is very intelligent by the way. She said, “Then, God placed an angel in my life who helped me to get back up on my feet and into life!” Gee, did I do that??? What a kiss from heaven it was to know that I did that for someone! You do that too with your words! Keep up the good work sweetie!

    Like

  4. Patricia Lathrom says:

    You are so adorable. Love your breakthrough. And yes, I share your fear when walking alone, especially at night. I’ve been mugged twice (once seriously) so I am hyper-vigilant. Sadly, it’s the world we live in. But if I were a bad man, I wouldn’t want to tangle with you. Your frame might be slight, but your spirit is huge.

    From: Commode To Joy To: plathrom@yahoo.com Sent: Sunday, May 21, 2017 3:43 PM Subject: [New post] Human Highlights: Fears & Breakthroughs #yiv4808127883 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv4808127883 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv4808127883 a.yiv4808127883primaryactionlink:link, #yiv4808127883 a.yiv4808127883primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv4808127883 a.yiv4808127883primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv4808127883 a.yiv4808127883primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv4808127883 WordPress.com | Jamie Muscato posted: “Human Highlights is a Sunday tradition at Commode To Joy. It’s a friendly reminder to forgive your human moments, celebrate the highlights, and enjoy life’s little lovelies in the interim………………………………………………..Human Mo” | |

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