Did I overreact? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-25-2008, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I decided to take the kiddos to the park, alone. I found this REALLY cute park, mainly geared at younger children, really small much like this only a wee bit smaller. It's off the beaten trail on a little back street with little to no traffic. I saw MAYBE 4 cars go by the whole time I was there.

Anyway, we had been there about 45 minutes, James was having a BLAST when I notice a car parked behind my van (street parking only) I brush it off. Time goes on and I notice the car is STILL sitting there. Not running, 1 adult inside just sitting there. So I kind of watch for a bit and still she just sits there...I kind of got a funny feeling about it, but brushed it off. The feeling kept nagging and nagging at me until I finally packed the kids up and left.

Did I overreact by leaving?

I'm in a VERY small town, but like I said, this part of town is fairly deserted in the middle of the day, no car traffic, no sidewalks so no feet traffic, no people out in their yards (middle of the day, most people are at work).



James is VERY upset at me for leaving, so we'll be headed back here in a couple hours, but the whole car sitting there doing nothing freaked me out. :

Honestly?? What would you have done?

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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Old 08-25-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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Your instincts are there for a reason. If you think something is off/wrong, then there's a good chance it is. IMO, it wouldn't have been smart to stay in an isolated place where you weren't comfortable. Always, always listen to your instincts.

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Old 08-25-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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Your instincts are there for a reason. If you think something is off/wrong, then there's a good chance it is. IMO, it wouldn't have been smart to stay in an isolated place where you weren't comfortable. Always, always listen to your instincts.
ditto
good job momma!

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Old 08-25-2008, 04:40 PM
 
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I've had similar moments and while in most cases it's probably someone else who wanted some time "off the beaten track" in a small town, it's NEVER wrong to follow your instincts. Perhaps she was on her lunch hour and just needed a moment alone. Then again, perhaps not.

I've noticed since having DS, I am much more aware of our surroundings and I probably tend to be more "vigilant" about moments such as these. I follow my instincts rather than fight them. All could have been fine, but what does it hurt to err on the side of caution, ya know?

I LOVE those out of the way (ALONE) moments out and about. I tend to look for them (particularly when DS was younger and preferred it this way).

The best to you, mama.

Em

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Old 08-25-2008, 04:44 PM
 
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Better safe than sorry and always follow your instincts. Have you read 'Protecting The Gift' .. if not, I highly recommend it.

I often like to park my car in a deserted place to eat lunch or kill a little time before picking ds up from school. That might have been all it was, but if you felt funny, you totally did the right thing.

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Old 08-25-2008, 05:01 PM
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Well my take on it is that you probably did "overreact" but since there's really no harm to just leaving (it's not like you called in a swat team on this woman for sitting in her car) then what does it matter?

I don't mean to second guess your reaction since obviously I wasn't there to see the whole picture but I guess I don't see what's so creepy about a woman just sitting in her car. Maybe if she was snapping photos or staring oddly or something. But just sitting there? Do whatever makes you feel comfortable but I don't get the feeling from the description that she was up to anything sinister.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:04 PM
 
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I agree with whalemilk -- no harm (other than annoyed kiddo) in leaving, but I've certainly parked next to a park to eat lunch or kill time between appointments, so someone just sitting in their car wouldn't necessarily bother me.
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Old 08-25-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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For me, if I feel something is wrong, I am usually right! I also instruct my dds the same, if you feel like something is wrong, you are right.
So no, you didnt- esp since you just got up and left. ITs not like a pp said- you didnt call the swat team or anything. ITs always better to err on the side of cautin and better to be safe than sorry.

Hopefully that was the last you saw of it anyhow and enjoy the park when you go back.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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Old 08-25-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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It's always good to listen to your instincts.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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If I feel creepy I leave. What I am trying to prove by staying? Especially in an out of the way place. Nah, it could have been nothing, but what if it was? I vote that you didn't over-react. I think it was prudent.

"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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Old 08-26-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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It was probably nothing to worry about but it's always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to things like this!

Julie, wife and mother. I love my little ones: DS ::Corbin Randall---6/06 and DD :Morgan Reese 12/08.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:13 AM
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na you dident over react
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DH said that the hospital (which is just a little ways away) is 100% smoke free, you can't smoke in your car on the hospital property so it was more than likely a hospital worker on a smoke break. But o'well. Still freaked me out.

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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It might have been nothing, but I agree it is usually a good idea to follow your instincts. I know I try to.
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Old 08-26-2008, 12:48 PM
 
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I'd say trust your instincts, but I'll also offer this up for consideration. I have several friends who work in IT and end up with time on their hands between appointments, so they'll find an out-of-the-way place to park and chill for a while during the day.

I've also found myself with two napping kiddos and time to kill before an appointment, so I'll look for a place to park off the main road (quieter) near a park (in case they wake up) and will sometimes spend a couple hours just sitting there enjoying the quiet. If I can find another parent's car to park near, I will, especially if I'm not familiar with the area. It feels a little safer sometimes.
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Old 08-26-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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I don't think you overreacted. There's nothing wrong with leaving if you feel uncomfortable. The woman may have been completely harmless and innocent, but why take the chance? It's not worth the risk, and I'm a big believer in listening to your gut, especially when it involves your children. We have instincts for a reason. So maybe there was a reason you really did need to get out of there.

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Old 08-26-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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When I worked, I used to drive to a park and eat my lunch in my car while reading or listening to the radio. I also would occasionally glance at the happy kids playing because children are fun to watch and so full of joy. I still enjoy watching them.

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Old 08-26-2008, 04:15 PM
 
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I agree that your instincts are there for a reason, glad you used them

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Old 08-26-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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I think you over reacted.

I don't understand the concern. A woman was sitting in her car. She wasn't in the park, wasn't interacting with you in any way. I'm not understanding where the fear was coming from. Like pp mentioned, she was probably on her lunch break, just taking a quiet half-hour or so alone.

Now, if it had been a man in the car staring at you, if he had been looking at your kids with binoculars, that sort of thing, I can see getting creeped out. But this? Have we become so afraid of each other that we have to leave a public place because another person is there? Doing nothing? I would have stayed.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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It was probably no big deal - she might have been having lunch, or planning to meet someone there for lunch or to carpool - but it's no big deal to leave and it's best to trust your instincts. And, as you plan to do, you can always go back.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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You certainly didn't do anything wrong by leaving and trusting your gut.

Maybe she was eating lunch, talking on a cell phone, listening to the radio or a book on tape, knitting, nursing a babe, or just sitting and zoning out for a bit. Doesn't seem like she was doing anything wrong, wither.

I think overreacting would have been calling the cops or confronting her with hostility. But you didn't do that, you simply left.
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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I think you over reacted.

I don't understand the concern. A woman was sitting in her car. She wasn't in the park, wasn't interacting with you in any way. I'm not understanding where the fear was coming from. Like pp mentioned, she was probably on her lunch break, just taking a quiet half-hour or so alone.

Now, if it had been a man in the car staring at you, if he had been looking at your kids with binoculars, that sort of thing, I can see getting creeped out. But this? Have we become so afraid of each other that we have to leave a public place because another person is there? Doing nothing? I would have stayed.
Have to agree with this. Realistically, what exactly was it OP was afraid of?
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Old 08-26-2008, 09:39 PM
 
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I think you over reacted.

I don't understand the concern. A woman was sitting in her car. She wasn't in the park, wasn't interacting with you in any way. I'm not understanding where the fear was coming from. Like pp mentioned, she was probably on her lunch break, just taking a quiet half-hour or so alone.

Now, if it had been a man in the car staring at you, if he had been looking at your kids with binoculars, that sort of thing, I can see getting creeped out. But this? Have we become so afraid of each other that we have to leave a public place because another person is there? Doing nothing? I would have stayed.
: We are a one car family and sometimes my dh will go with me while I do something business related and often will just hang in the car reading while I am doing whatever. I think if the person seemed to be oblivious to you, I would not be concerned. Like others have said there are ton of reasons why someone could be chilling in their car especially in the middle of the day.

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Old 08-26-2008, 09:53 PM
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Yeah I think it's really worth examining WHAT you thought was awry, OP. I know everyone likes to say "just trust your instincts" but sometimes instincts and prejudice or kneejerk social judgement are hard to tell apart. The latter two things can be very detrimental. So it's worth examining.
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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I think you over reacted.

I don't understand the concern. A woman was sitting in her car. She wasn't in the park, wasn't interacting with you in any way. I'm not understanding where the fear was coming from. Like pp mentioned, she was probably on her lunch break, just taking a quiet half-hour or so alone.

Now, if it had been a man in the car staring at you, if he had been looking at your kids with binoculars, that sort of thing, I can see getting creeped out. But this? Have we become so afraid of each other that we have to leave a public place because another person is there? Doing nothing? I would have stayed.

Women should always follow their gut instincts. Not mine, not yours.

The difference with this situation than all the others she has seen in her life is that Mistymama felt creeped out, and that is enough for her to leave the park.

We all see many people a day and feel nothing about the situation after we see it, someone eating lunch in the car, parent waiting for a kid, finishing a phone, whatever, and we have NO response.

Than all of a sudden you have a gut feeling that something feels wrong.
Always Listen to yourself and never feel as if you you need to be polite to anyone when you feel creeped out!
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:49 PM
 
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For me, if I feel something is wrong, I am usually right!
I hate to sound like a contrarian here, but you don't know that you're usually right. If you leave because of your instincts, you have no way ever to know that you were right or not.

I think it was a major overreaction. A woman was sitting in a car minding her own business, and that bothered you. I'm not sure why. If she'd gotten out, would that be better? Was she looking at you?

I'm a writer, and I often sit in my car to write. It works for me. There's nothing sinister about it, but I can imagine being this woman in the car you're talking about and you packing up and leaving.

I think "instinct" can be dangerous. Instinct causes many white women to cross the street when African American men are coming the other way. That "instinct" is really prejudice in disguise, though. So saying "always trust your instincts" doesn't really work for me.

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Old 08-26-2008, 11:28 PM
 
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I hate to sound like a contrarian here, but you don't know that you're usually right. If you leave because of your instincts, you have no way ever to know that you were right or not.

I think it was a major overreaction. A woman was sitting in a car minding her own business, and that bothered you. I'm not sure why. If she'd gotten out, would that be better? Was she looking at you?

I'm a writer, and I often sit in my car to write. It works for me. There's nothing sinister about it, but I can imagine being this woman in the car you're talking about and you packing up and leaving.

I think "instinct" can be dangerous. Instinct causes many white women to cross the street when African American men are coming the other way. That "instinct" is really prejudice in disguise, though. So saying "always trust your instincts" doesn't really work for me.
I think your response is not a wise one for anyone to follow.

Read the book the "Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. Studies show the same thing, that people aways say they had a "funny feeling", "a creepy feeling" and just brushed it off, did not want to be perceived rude. You pull the race card, and that is a bullshit card to pull. Women fear all colors and size men. It is a whole other conversatin, not this one.

At 15yrs old my daughter was abducted off a public beach at gun point and raped, she did not follow her gut instinct, and she has a good one as a city kid, she was polite. I certainly never taught her to be polite to strangers.

In the playground I saw a women leading a child out of a park holding his hand, it was not her child the mother started screaming to stop her, and we all ran to help. Everyone in the park than said "oh i had such a creepy feeling about that women waking around the park".

We see stuff all the time and never have a weird feeling, when you get that feeling follow it!
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:33 PM
 
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Your instincts are there for a reason. If you think something is off/wrong, then there's a good chance it is. IMO, it wouldn't have been smart to stay in an isolated place where you weren't comfortable. Always, always listen to your instincts.
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You certainly didn't do anything wrong by leaving and trusting your gut.

Maybe she was eating lunch, talking on a cell phone, listening to the radio or a book on tape, knitting, nursing a babe, or just sitting and zoning out for a bit. Doesn't seem like she was doing anything wrong, wither.

I think overreacting would have been calling the cops or confronting her with hostility. But you didn't do that, you simply left.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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It was probably nothing to be very concerned about but you felt weird and you were the one there. If I felt weird about somebody in an isolated place I would have left.
Overreacting would have been calling the cops or something.

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Old 08-27-2008, 01:25 AM
 
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Better safe than sorry and always follow your instincts. Have you read 'Protecting The Gift' .. if not, I highly recommend it.

I often like to park my car in a deserted place to eat lunch or kill a little time before picking ds up from school. That might have been all it was, but if you felt funny, you totally did the right thing.

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