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The Gift of Fear people

(18 Posts)
BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 20:41:23

Have been meaning to read this book but haven't got around to buying it yet, would be interested/reassured if anyone can tell me what this means if anything please.

This evening I was walking from the train station to my house, a walk of about 15 minutes. About halfway home I suddenly noticed that I was feeling panicky. There wasn't any danger so I took some deep breaths and the feeling went away. But as I carried on walking, I noticed it come back two or three more times, and I inexplicably felt relief as soon as I closed the front door behind me. Now I feel better but still not really my normal self - almost as though my skin is crawling and a little bit buzzy/shaky with some occasional cold flushes. There is definitely nobody and nothing in this house that can harm me and it was a perfectly ordinary walk home which I have done every single Wednesday evening for the last 10 months or so.

In the interests of not dripfeeding, there was a man on the train who made me feel uneasy. I think this is totally irrational, because he often takes the same train and I have seen him lots of times before and he has never so much as looked at me funny. The reason he makes me feel uneasy is the smell of his aftershave and the fact that he wears his hair slicked back with a lot of gel. For some reason I find men with either (but especially both) of those attributes make me feel anxious and panicky. Tonight there were two men on the train with this particular kind of aftershave that I don't like. One of the men got off before me and the one who I've seen several times with the hair stays on after me.

It's not a normal thing, is it, to feel frightened about a man who was on a train ten minutes ago? I mean it might not have been that, but that was the only thing I could connect it to. Thoughts?

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 20:45:08

It must be 15, 20 years since I read the book, but I think I'm right in remembering that the Gift of Fear is your intuition, the sense of danger that you would otherwise ignore in order to be nice or polite or sensible.

I don't feel that what you're describing is what the book is about.

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 20:45:28

Sorry, that's not to say that these aren't thoughts and feelings worthy of further reflection.

BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 20:47:32

Oh no that's okay smile I wasn't sure it just came up in my mind for some reason. Perhaps I should have given my thread a different title.

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 20:49:12

What do you think it is about the hair and the smell? Who does it remind you of?

BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 21:04:54

It doesn't remind me of anyone. I don't know what it is, it just always freaks me out, real sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I can't remember it starting so it must have always been there. My earliest memory of being aware of it is when I was 14 or 15 and my friend's dad had the aftershave, but it was familiar to me then if that makes sense. As in the feeling was surprising but what was surprising was the thought that I'd felt it before.

I suppose my fear is that there's some memory somewhere in my past about a man who wore his hair like that and wore that kind of aftershave who did something to me but I can't think who it would have been or when anything like that would have happened.

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 21:09:54

I am convinced by schools of thought that claim you can have such memories, even if you're not consciously aware of them. It could have been a neighbour in the street who chatted to your mum, looked in your pram and made you jump, that kind of thing.

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 21:10:11

Be interesting to read what others think.

BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 21:12:43

I've just realised that I've been feeling a bit emotional/upset tonight anyway because I managed to mix up a meeting place and miss DS' kindergarten lantern parade (he didn't mind, but it pushes my "bad mum" buttons sad ) so probably I'm just feeling oversensitive.

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 21:16:19

Try this exercise. When you see a friend or colleague mixing up appointments in this manner, what do you think?

BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 21:19:29

I feel really, really bad and disappointed for them. I hate missing out on stuff.

Vivacia Wed 12-Nov-14 21:20:21

I'll PM you Bertie

Meerka Wed 12-Nov-14 21:22:37

I get that smell-thing too. there's a certain smell-range that really hits my buttons and makes me as jumpy as a cat on a hot tin roof. It's not broad but there's a few similar scents that just hit the nasty spot. Absolutely no idea why. Not so fussed about hairgel tho!

Maybe because it's just smell, I put it down to pheromones ... that scent-theory where you find someone's personal own scent attractive becuase their genes are compatible with yours. Maybe there's the direct opposite too, smells that push you away =)

BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 21:26:05

That's interesting Meerka. And yes there are certain scents which affect me totally oppositely - I remember a boyfriend when I was about 17 wearing some kind of scent which did very, er, alluring things for him!

Meerka Wed 12-Nov-14 21:29:39

Hope yer ok. it -is- disappointing to miss stuff. A bit far off but there will be one next year?

BertieBotts Wed 12-Nov-14 21:32:27

No it was his last year sad But I'm sure they'll do something different - probably better, when he starts school smile

CheckpointCharlie Wed 12-Nov-14 21:35:10

Sounds a bit like a panic attack? Had any before?

The gift of fear is more about picking up on signals but not consciously realising what is freaking you out. It's a really good book, I would recommend it.

Hope you're ok now?

Surreyblah Wed 12-Nov-14 22:15:29

Hi bertie,

Read that book many years ago when was early 20s after a couple of stalking experiences (I had felt I had to be polite to the f****s!) and liked it, but agree with pps that it sounds like you were feeling anxious. Had similar experiences after the London tube bombings at a time when my anxiety was already quite high. Generally still get anxious walking home sometimes and occasionally on trains too if am out of comfort zone, eg coming back late, quiet carriage.

Don't worry about offending anyone if you need to get some space or get away, if the men are harmless joe bloggses they won't notice or care and who cares if they do!

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