Shootings making me anxious. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-15-2008, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, so with each mass shooting that I hear about in the US the more anxious I get. The ones that are happening at random stores, universities & the mall have me just going crazy. When I'm out, especially with my kids, I find myself watching for "suspicious" people. Now, the way I usually decide in my head that someone is suspicious is by their dress or if they're just acting a certain way. Can't really say what way that is because I don't really know exactly. It could be a number of things or practically nothing.

If I see a man wearing a trench coat I literally feel my adrenaline starting to pump and I get slightly nervous. If the man (always a man & always white. I'm guessing because that's who it's been doing these things lately...) has a grouchy look on his face that will sometimes make the feeling get stronger... if he has his hand the pocket of the trench coat or actually in the coat I am getting the heck out of there. I will start looking for "escape routes" and making note of them in my head. (I don't sprint away or anything but I do leave the area)

Yesterday at the library I had my three year old with me and we were checking out our books. There were three guys probably about 17-19 and they were all wearing bulky black coats (Hello it's winter and it was -15 of course they're going to be dressed the way they were) and face masks rolled up, each wearing a backpack (probably from school!). They were congregating in the lobby of the library and then they all came in. They all went in separate directions of the library and just sort of stood around alone but they were still looking at eachother. I felt myself get nervous and we left right away. When we got outside I felt nauseated.

Now, how do I get over this fear?? I feel like the most ridiculous person alive and I don't like looking over my shoulder all the time. For some reason it is always worse at the library & sometimes at the mall. I never really get that feeling in Target or Walmart or the grocery store. I don't know why. I also know that it's horrible to judge someone based on what they're wearing but just seeing a trench coat for some reason triggers this fear in me.

I have never told anybody about this because I'm truly embarassed. I don't make it obvious so I don't think my kids are at all aware since they're only 1 & 3. I just don't want to feel this way anymore and I really wanted to get it off my chest but don't know how to or who to tell. I'm also terrified to be having a third child because I know that if something happened it would be much harder to get away with three kids rather than two.

Thanks for letting me vent. I hope I didn't offend any trench coat wearers. I know it's my own hang up & I know I'm being completely irrational.

Mommy to THREE sweet boys & ONE sweet girl + a newb due in February! 
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#2 of 5 Old 02-15-2008, 04:05 PM
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You know, I don't know what to say. Except that in the grand scheme of things, the chances of this happening to you is small. But it can be hard to believe that, with everything going on these days.

I can't stop watching the coverage of the shootings at NIU. I couldn't when shootings happened at Virginia Tech, either. It hits too close to home, I suppose. Of everything in my adulthood, one of the view constants has been involvement in a university, either as a student, or for dh as faculty, and in other ways...

I hope someone can be more helpful.
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#3 of 5 Old 02-15-2008, 11:49 PM
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When I start to get really jumpy like that, I go on a media fast. That is terribly helpful.
I am also getting counseling to deal with old trauma, which hopefully will help my overall anxiety
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#4 of 5 Old 02-15-2008, 11:57 PM
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i think it's just your instinctual mama bear coming out to protect your young. it's good to be watchful...
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#5 of 5 Old 02-16-2008, 12:00 AM
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I know what you mean. These shootings are becoming too close to home. NIU is about 60 miles west of Chicago - I'm only about 30 miles SE of Chicago. We don't live too far from a university campus where I live.

The Lane Bryant shootings are in the town where dh's aunt lives. I'm nervous, for sure, and I may start exercising my state's right to bear arms.

Mama of 3 girls: 7.5 , 6 , and 4.5
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