In seventh grade, I went to stay with a friend for the night. We were going to watch movies, pig out on pizza and stay up late. Her parents were gone for the night helping a friend painting their house, and they had a family friend stay with us. It was about 1:00am and we could no longer stay awake. We crashed in the living room. At 1:30am, a dark shadow moved across the front porch and stopped at the window. The porch light was on and I saw him. A man dressed in black, standing there and starring into the house. Panicked, I calmly woke up my friend, “Rachel! There is a man standing at the window looking at us.”She slowly turned over and faced the window. Neither of us could move. We just laid there silent and frozen. Occasionally, we would turn our heads to face the window. He just stood there. After about an hour, he left. We screamed for the rest of the house to wake up and told them the story.
For years, I felt as if he was always around. I would see him in the grocery store. I would see him at school. I would see him everywhere I went. The very hairs on my neck would stand straight up and I would be too afraid to turn around. I lived a live in fear for years, feared that the one time I turned around he would be there. The man in black.
As I grew older, the paranoia only grew stronger. I went through a traumatic event and itonly fueled the fear and paranoia. Every sound was someone breaking in. The dogs barking were a warning that someone was there. The knock on the door was a serial killer. As silly as it sounds, this is my reality. This was the life I was living a life where I could not be me because I was so focused on the fear.Eventually the fear became too much to bear. I decided to put myself into therapy. I’ve been in therapy for the past two years and the paranoia is slowly becoming just a small part of my life.
I’m 25 years old and I am finally able to live life the way it is meant to be lived. Free from intense fear and paranoia. Some say fear and paranoia are the same thing; I disagree. Due to a financial situation, I live with my grandparents. They are vacationing for the summer, and I have been home alone. It has been the best experience. I actually enjoy being home alone. I am not scared anymore. I refuse to live a life of fear. I chose to be brave. There are moments when fear and paranoia seem to want to take over and I just have to remind myself that I am bigger than that fear. Whatever fears and paranoia you have in your life, remember you are bigger than that fear. And just like me, you can overcome it.