About fear

Recently, someone told me that my being scared of getting raped or attacked stems from insecurity. I didn’t understand how he came to that conclusion but it made me realise that people still don’t understand how it feels to be a girl living in a world where people will try to hurt you.

So I’m going to talk about it from my point of view.

I read at night a lot when I’m in school and the class I read at is a little far from my hostel. The road to my hostel gets lonely at night and it’s not lit properly.Most nights I finish reading around 2am so I have to walk back alone.

On a typical night I would meet 1 or 2 people on the way, but the fact that the road is usually deserted doesn’t do anything to make me less scared, instead it makes me more afraid.

Look at it this way, rapists aren’t generally rational people. They won’t look at me dragging myself back from studying and think “oh look at that girl, she looks so tired” in fact, I don’t even know if rapists think. So every step I take on that walk is loaded with fear.

I’m walking, listening to music and pretending not to notice anything but in mu head I’m like”did I just see a shadow? Why does that boy keep walking behind me? Should I cross to the other side? Maybe I should cross, if I start walking faster would it make me look suspicious? Maybe I should just start running and make it look like I’m playing. Jesus please, I don’t want to die.”

One night I was walking back and this suspicious looking guy was walking behind me. It was really dark and there was nobody else for as far as I could see, we’d just walked past fayrouz joint. (this is like the halfway point) I was walking on the right side of the road because the road that leads up to my hostel is on the right side, but this boy walking behind me was bothering me so I crossed to the other side and slowed down so he would walk past me and I could keep my eyes on him. But this guy crossed too. Now, I’m a rational person, I knew that he probably crossed the road for another reason that probably wasn’t related to me, but I was an 18 year old girl that was on an empty road with a male. The problem being that I’m female and there are males that think that makes me a tool for sexual satisfaction.

I started walking faster and I don’t know if it was in my head o but his footsteps sounded like they were getting faster. So I ran, I was running and thinking “Ronke why are you panicking? Nothing happened, slow down” but my legs were moving and I just couldn’t not be scared. Later, after I’d gotten to my hostel and I felt as safe as I could get, I laughed about it and put it up to me being paranoid. But,

The fear is still there every day.

I’m scared that someone would look at me one day and decide to hurt me. I’m scared that it’ll happen to my daughters or my sisters, my friends. I’m scared because schools, markets, churches, mosques even our own houses aren’t safe, the predators are everywhere, nowhere is safe. And I’m tired, I’m so sick of being scared, I’m exhausted. I want to walk down my street by myself after the sun has gone down and not have to analyse everyone approaching and map out escape routes. I don’t want to be scared.

6 thoughts on “About fear

  1. And the sad truth is that this doesn’t just happen to females in Nigeria. It’s a worldwide pandemic. You live your life with this fear of ‘I’m I next” because u have come to realise that you are just not safe anywhere. You would expect that it’s 2020 so things should be better and you shouldn’t have to live every day in fear. But no darling, your fellow human being still sees u as a sex object “who should enjoy been raped”. WE JUST WANT TO BREATH, HOW HARD IS THAT?

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  2. You’re not the only one that experience such fear… in school, at home( on the road) I get scared… going to a guy’s house is terrifying to me. Be it your friend or not… even your relatives should be watched with the corner eye… you’re right my dear, the fear is eating up so many girls. And yes, those rapists don’t think at all.

    Liked by 1 person

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