I think I made progress today.
At my mum’s dance school, I had just finished teaching my little ones class and the teens were coming into the studio. The second one in came in, looking rather flustered. She’s a tiny, pretty little thing with long blonde hair and big blue eyes, but a great fiesty attitude I admire. She takes shit from no-one.
“Right, when I was walking down here,” she said, frustrated, “this guy followed me all the way down! He was yelling, ‘oy, come here,’ and I just came and stood in the porch until he went.”
Immediately my brain sprung into action the way it would have done before PTSD.
“What did he look like? What was he wearing?”
“He was in a grey hat, pulled down over his eyes, and a grey tracksuit.”
“Right, thank you,” I said, and I headed speedily for the doors.
On the way, I met some of the other girls. I quickly explained the situation to them and they all said they had seen him too. At that point, I rushed downstairs to let the parents of the small children I’d just taught know there was someone weird hanging around.
When I got there, one of the mums was helping her children into the car. I warned her about the strange man, and she said that she hadn’t seen him.
“You’re brave,” she said, “coming out here alone like that.”
And then it hit me. No fear, no shaking, no dissociation, no flashbacks- just a genuine desire to protect the people I was caring for.
This may not happen quite the same again, or it may- who knows? The great thing to take away from this is that I did NOT freak out, I was calm and I managed the situation.
Tomorrow’s big challenge?
Getting the train alone to my massage course.