Fight­ing that un­easy feel­ing

The Compass - - OPINION - Ni­cholas Mercer is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass. He lives in Bay Roberts and can be reached at nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

It is the early af­ter­noon when some­one raps on your back door.

It is strange to have some­one call­ing on you this early, but nev­er­the­less you open the door, com­ing face-to-face with a young man. He looks in­no­cent enough and asks for a do­na­tion.

He is in the mid­dle of some rough times, and needs to be able to pay a bill.

You don’t have any money you say, but there are a cou­ple of bags of bot­tles and cans in the base­ment the man can have. They might not pay the bill, but it is a start.

As the man takes the cans from your base­ment, some­thing shakes you about the young man.

An un­easy feel­ing is start­ing to form in the pit of your stom­ach. You know, the one you get when some­one is be­hind you or it seems like you’re be­ing watched.

For no rea­son at all, you start to sus­pect the man of some­thing.

Fast-for­ward 10 min­utes and the ex­change ends. The man is long gone and you’re left to en­joy an af­ter­noon cup of tea with cream crack­ers lath­ered with some but­ter. Still, that feel­ing has not left you. In fact, it will stay with you the rest of evening and into the morn­ing. Doubt creeps into your mind as ques­tions start pop­ping up. Who was the man? What did he re­ally want? Was there some other point to his visit? From that point on, ev­ery creek of a floor­board or stray head­light causes you to sec­ond glance.

It is a common feel­ing to have when you feel you’re per­sonal space has been vi­o­lated. Ev­ery one is sus­pi­cious and you can’t check the locks enough times.

One can only imag­ine what those three in St. John’s are feel­ing when they turn the light off at night, or those who were the vic­tims of home in­va­sions in Car­bon­ear a cou­ple of months ago.

There are more than just phys­i­cal or ma­te­rial scars for the vic­tims of a theft. There is a men­tal as­pect to it as well.

The per­pe­tra­tor thrives on it. They need to see the fear they’ve caused. It is what they get off on. You feel help­less in your own home. Some can com­part­men­tal­ize and can deal with the crime bet­ter, while for oth­ers tak­ing back con­trol is the only op­tion.

It would not be pos­si­ble to be­gin liv­ing life anew if it is not done.

You can­not be­gin the heal­ing process un­til you start seiz­ing your old life back.

The above sce­nario was not a theft or an in­va­sion. In fact, it doesn’t even com­pare to hav­ing your home bro­ken into. But that feel­ing of un­ease is the same. It is a no­tion that can ruin your life or just your evening. Re­gard­less of how se­vere it is, th­ese peo­ple are plant­ing them­selves in your life and im­print­ing a sense of fear.

If you want to re­turn to your some sem­blance of be­ing, don’t let them.

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