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  #251  
Old 12-07-2017, 02:50 PM
sachertorte sachertorte is offline
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Honestly the only difference I can see is that one your small fear (that you act upon), and one is a small fear not yours and not acted upon.
That was my conclusion as well, or at least something similar: behavior I agree with is rational; behavior I don't agree with is irrational.
  #252  
Old 12-07-2017, 04:51 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by sachertorte View Post
That was my conclusion as well, or at least something similar: behavior I agree with is rational; behavior I don't agree with is irrational.
I listed like three or four different reasons. If that's what you got from all of them, I'm not sure how to say it any differently; it's absolutely not a correct summary.
  #253  
Old 12-07-2017, 08:50 PM
sachertorte sachertorte is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I listed like three or four different reasons. If that's what you got from all of them, I'm not sure how to say it any differently; it's absolutely not a correct summary.
The purported difference is in ones opinion of the quality of the reasons. It isn't as if the OP didn't offer reasons too. It is simply that you dismiss those reason while you don't dismiss your own reasons.

In thinking about this I think such situations are more common than I would would like to admit. I'm sure I've fallen into that thinking as well.
  #254  
Old 12-07-2017, 09:25 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Oh, gimme a break.

I'm the father of a 10 year old boy. I've obviously had many times when I've interacted with his friends, and with random kids on the playground, and equally random schoolmates of his at school functions, like the book fair and holiday craft bazaar last night.

Yeah, there's some due caution you exercise (e.g. you don't touch a kid unless it's unavoidable, you don't let your eyes linger on any one child who isn't interacting with your own child, stuff like that) but other than that you act naturally and everything's fine.
I'm the father of a four-year-old girl. When taking her to the park (one of those no-adults-allowed-unaccompanied-by-children playgrounds), if she's happily playing with her friends, I'll sit on a bench and maybe read a book or something.

More than once, I've been asked to leave the park by paranoid mommies who believe every man is just waiting for the chance to abduct their babies. It doesn't help that I'm significantly older than the typical parent of a four-year-old. I've had them demand that I point out my child, and then had the fucking bitches accost my child and tell her to point out her daddy, so they can be satisfied that I'm not a child molester. And, of course, if I make any kind of scene and call them on their bullshit, I'm the bad guy and my poor daughter will no longer be welcome at the playground. Assuming I'm not banned forever.

Everything isn't always fine. There are stupid people out there. There are bad people who will seize any opportunity to be moralizing, puritanical amateur special cops. I hate them. And they are legion in my neck of the woods. Lots of them. Organic-food eating natural fiber wearing wives of rich men with nothing better to do than inflict themselves on ordinary people.
  #255  
Old 12-07-2017, 10:07 PM
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When the kindly paranoid mommies accost your child and start harassing them like that, maybe you should be the first to call the cops on them. How do you suppose that would play?
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  #256  
Old 12-07-2017, 10:09 PM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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When the kindly paranoid mommies accost your child and start harassing them like that, maybe you should be the first to call the cops on them. How do you suppose that would play?
Badly.

Ultimately, my daughter would pay the price. I would be ostracized. We'd no longer be welcome in the park. My daughter would lose friends.
  #257  
Old 12-07-2017, 11:09 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Read post 201 again; it's where I answered the question to the best of my ability.
In that post the prime reason MMM's thoughts (not precautions because he decided not to act on them) were "of no purpose" were because "the risk of a false allegation is vanishingly small" ... something that as I quoted you understand is the case for false allegations against you too.

Your other reasons for actually taking "a precaution"? "[I]t comforts others" ... if true that your students or others might be fearful of you being alone with a child then that does indeed justify action. And it justifies the inaction by MMM given a lack of a belief that the child in the movie theater or the parent is worried by his presence. But we are talking about justifying the concern about a false accusation. And of course he is being very rational not taking an action that addresses no real risk ... actually taking an action in response to a risk that does not meaningfully exist - that would be irrational. Which of you is closer to doing that?

Again I do not fault you your behavior. But it is in fact no more rational than MMM having a fear that he rationally decides to not act upon.

For the record. I kick parents out of the room for portions of early teen visits on and am alone with them for a period of time as a matter of course. Minimally I believe they should have a chance to share concerns with me that they might not feel comfortable discussing in front of mom or dad. I do not believe that parents are worried that I may be a predator as a result and I have never had a fear of false accusation.

That post of yours does however highlight the conflation that has occurred in this between overlapping but different concerns.

There is the question of how rational it is to be afraid of malacious false accusations, and how rational it is to change behavior due to that concern.

There is having no fear of false accusation but being aware that others can be (unjustifiably) uncomfortable or fearful of you, and doing things out of consideration of that fear.

There is the fear that someone will make an accusation not out of malice but out irrational fear and/or misunderstood intent, like the paranoid mothers that Saintly Loser has to cope with.

Obviously they are not the same things but they do overlap. Still, even in overlap we should be cautious to not conflate.
  #258  
Old 12-08-2017, 06:03 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
In that post the prime reason MMM's thoughts (not precautions because he decided not to act on them) were "of no purpose" were because "the risk of a false allegation is vanishingly small" ... something that as I quoted you understand is the case for false allegations against you too.
No. The risk of false allegations against an elementary school teacher is orders of magnitude greater than the risk of false allegations against someone sitting next to a child in a movie theater, given that it has happened. Do you disagree? It happens really rarely, but unlike what MMM describes, it happens.
Quote:
Your other reasons for actually taking "a precaution"? "[I]t comforts others" ... if true that your students or others might be fearful of you being alone with a child then that does indeed justify action. And it justifies the inaction by MMM given a lack of a belief that the child in the movie theater or the parent is worried by his presence. But we are talking about justifying the concern about a false accusation.
No: I was explaining to sachertorte why my precautions, not my concern, was justified.
Quote:
Again I do not fault you your behavior. But it is in fact no more rational than MMM having a fear that he rationally decides to not act upon.
You're changing what's being compared from what sachertorte asked me about.

In my case, failing to take these precautions would be very likely to lead to a poor outcome: I am required by district policy to take them, and I could lose my job.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 12-08-2017 at 06:03 AM.
  #259  
Old 12-08-2017, 09:10 AM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
No. The risk of false allegations against an elementary school teacher is orders of magnitude greater than the risk of false allegations against someone sitting next to a child in a movie theater, given that it has happened. Do you disagree? ...
I cannot say whether or not there has ever been a case of a false accusation of a stranger molesting a child in a movie theater. Even if not it is impossible to say the risk is zero - just vanishingly small. Has a second grader made a false accusation against a teacher? Middle schoolers and above sure, but a second grader? Maybe. I don't know. But even if so the risk is so small that worrying about it is not very rational ... more rational to be worried about the unknown male near a park as Saintly Loser's example mothers do. Lightening strikes happen rarely too. How close to zero does a risk need to be before worrying about ceases to be rational?* Now malicious false accusations I know occur with older students, and I am aware of sexual and other misconduct of High School teachers. Not allowing teachers to be alone with High Schoolers would make more sense maybe. Yet pretty much all my kids' High School teachers have encouraged my kids to take advantage of coming in to see them alone before or after school when they have questions about the material.

You were contrasting your taking precautions as rational to MMM's as not taking them as not. It seemed strange to me for you to be seeming to say that MMM would have been more rational to have actually taken the precaution. Because while yeah, if parent's are likely fearful of your being alone with their children then avoiding being alone with them might be rational, and knowing that the father in the theater is not likely fearful of him makes MMM's choice to not act rational. By this metric his choice to not act is for sure rational, yours I am not so sure.

So down to "its the policy." Okay. Skip to that. You have no choice in the matter. Don't bother with the rest then. The question then becomes not your actions but whether the concern that drives the policy applying to second graders is significantly more rational than MMM having a concern about false accusations.

*I think the answer is less a number than whether or not I am the one worried, or someone else is.
  #260  
Old 12-08-2017, 11:06 AM
StusBlues StusBlues is online now
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At my old church, a 13-year-old girl who worked in our daycare accused a 4-year-old boy of touching her vagina. This was supposed to have happened in a room with an adult present and several other kids, none of whom saw anything.

The 4-year-old's mom told me that her son was probably just flailing around and, being at that level, his hand collided with that area.

Nothing ever came of this that I know of, but I'd consider the little guy and his family darned lucky.

I had this in mind a few months later when my neighbor lady and I were out walking our dogs. As often happens, the children from the playground came over to pet our canine companions. One of the little humans immediately turned to me, pointed at my neighbor dog, and said "That dog bit me." My neighbor dog was a 100 lb. Rottweiler. If she had bitten him, we'd know it. So I asked the boy if she had snapped at him. He shook his head. Then, remembering church, I asked if he'd swung his hand around and scratched it against her tooth. He nodded.

Again, nothing came of either of these incidents, but I'm sorry to say that "vanishingly small" is strongly related to "hasn't happened to me yet."
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  #261  
Old 12-10-2017, 10:56 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is online now
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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
Positive touching is not just a good thing, but essential for proper socialization. I completely understand where you're coming from, but I'm concerned about how the moral panic around pedophilia is affecting society. It's basically putting a wall between kids and adults who aren't related to them, when ironically kids are more likely to be sexually abused by family members than strangers.
Agreed on this point.

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Originally Posted by adaher View Post
I've been grabbed a few times, I've never really understood why it's supposed to be so traumatizing. It's certainly unwelcome and those who do it should be warned not to do it or else, but I just don't get the PTSD issues some people get from it. But I guess everyone's feelings are different.
I think one's reaction in this situation is also going to be based on past experience with similar situations that escalated into worse things, or a lifetime of dealing with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard
I guess adult males are no longer allowed to interact with minors on any level.
I can relate to being anxious about certain nightmare scenarios, for sure. That one I've actually lived through myself, though the situation was reversed - I was the victim and my reputation was destroyed for telling the truth. It's horrible to have no control over others' perception of you or the truth. Particularly if it happens young, it fundamentally alters your view of human nature. I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

In the case of hypotheticals, I try to apply a little statistical analysis. As a woman, it appears my lifetime probability of getting raped is somewhere between 10% and 20%, depending on how you define rape, and I also know that most rapes happen by a trusted friend or family member. So despite the generally high level of risk, the probability of any given stranger raping me is quite low. There are other factors that decrease my risk, like the fact that I never leave the house, but let's pretend I'm normal for a second.

Based on those statistics, it doesn't make sense to me to completely change my whole life around or be limited in what I do. I would rather just live my life. Everybody has to conduct their own cost-benefit analysis. But I don't want to live my life in fear of men -- or anyone, really. I'd rather expose myself to greater risk in the interest of making human connections. That's just my thing. I would never say anything like, ''I just can't interact with men anymore because I have to protect myself.'' I guess some people would say that. But I don't see it as constructive or helpful. Seems like it would be alienating and offputting to men.

What worries me is that the fear that men have of being falsely accused of sexual molestation is going to reinforce the already existing culture we have of not believing women or taking their claims seriously. The reason you're seeing so many accusations of sexual assault is because sexual assault is really common, not because false accusations are out of control. Any time you, MMM, hear an allegation of sexual assault, it seems like your fear of being in some hypothetical nightmare scenario will impact how you treat the victim and the allegations. That's my greatest fear. That men's fears of remote hypotheticals will ultimately drive thousands of sexual assault victims back underground.

I wish it didn't seem like such an adversarial and defensive calculation. It makes it look like we're on opposite sides in an attempt to protect our own self-interest, yet I don't want to live in a world where alleged perpetrators lives are ruined based on a mere accusation any more than I want to live in a world where victim's lives are ruined based on a mere accusation. I very much doubt you want that either. I want to live in a world with less hand-wringing and villainizing and more concrete and pragmatic action to end sexual assault. Yet given the rarity of false accusations relative to the commonality of sexual assault, it often feels like men's fears regarding these issues are elevated above women's.

Last edited by Spice Weasel; 12-10-2017 at 10:59 AM. Reason: missed a word
  #262  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:24 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
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Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Badly.

Ultimately, my daughter would pay the price. I would be ostracized. We'd no longer be welcome in the park. My daughter would lose friends.
The ManCub™ was born in 1990. The FemBot™ in December of 1991. As a freelancer married to a public school teacher, I was the one taking the kids to the park during the week. Without fail. It was extremely rare for there to be another Dad at the playground with their kid(s).

Plenty of odd looks. Now and then a conversation which invariably involved the phrase, " Helping out today, huh? "

Not a single event of a mother threatening me or calling the police, whose station was less than a 90 second drive from the entrance to the park. On the rare moments where there would be an unpleasant event, both kids' parents took an interest, talked to their kid and sent them back out to play more.

That was 27 years ago. Now? I am not sure as the only Dad in the playground I would have been permitted to remain in the park at all.
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  #263  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:38 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is online now
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Originally Posted by Cartooniverse View Post
That was 27 years ago. Now? I am not sure as the only Dad in the playground I would have been permitted to remain in the park at all.
One of my closest friends was a full-time caretaker of his two young children, now that he's on the way to divorce he still has full days caring for them. His biggest complaint at the park is other adults trying to play with his children. I'm not sure why that bothers him, but he messages (from boredom, I assume) every time he takes the kids to the park and ''someone is treating me like I'm a creepy perv'' has never come up.

Yet there is no doubt we live in a hyper-paranoid society these days. I've heard of mothers getting into trouble with CPS for letting their ten-year-old go to the park two blocks away and other weird anecdotal horror stories. I started staying home alone when I was seven years old, so it's tough to wrap my head around. We live in a society in which crime is lower than it has been in decades and yet people seem more fearful than ever.

I won't buy in.
  #264  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:42 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
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Nor will I. But that's easy for me to say now. I wonder how things will go when I take my grandson to the park alone.

Like my kids, he's not white. So there was that whole " Hmmmm..... whose kid IS this? " vibe in the lilywhite town where I lived. Nowadays, I would hope that the racial angle would be trumped by the creepy angle, so I'd be seen as a creepy old man with an Asian toddler in my care, instead of a kidnapper.

Nice world it's turned into, isn't it?
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  #265  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:48 PM
DSeid DSeid is offline
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Originally Posted by Spice Weasel View Post
... What worries me is that the fear that men have of being falsely accused of sexual molestation is going to reinforce the already existing culture we have of not believing women or taking their claims seriously. ...
Can I just say DING DING DING?

That's why the response you posted, one that includes some empathy for the irrational fear and understanding of where it comes from, rather than mocking and attacking it, while still placing the relative risks in context, is most useful. Dismissing irrational fear out of hand OTOH is more likely to result in some having less than rational responses.

Priority one. Victims, often but not always women, of sexual abuse and harassment and abuse, must be able to feel they are in a culture and an environment in which they can safely come forward with their concerns without fear of retribution or negative consequence. We are long way from achieving that goal.

Priority two. Well maybe it should be one? The culture makes it clear that such behaviors are likely to be called out and are not tolerated. Honestly I think this overlaps some with the general principle of onlooker responsibility, which is attempted to be taught in early grades in relation to bullying in general. When others look the other way the abuser is validated.

Priority three. And know that accomplishing the other two bigger issue items is more difficult without this one. Don't just dismiss the fears of others even if they are irrational. Maintain some degree of giving an accused some benefit of the doubt.


Specific to child molestation - not sure which is less rational: being afraid of an unknown male sitting on the park bench while you are there supervising your child; or being afraid of being falsely accused by an unknown child in a movie theater or another public location.
  #266  
Old 12-10-2017, 01:54 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
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Originally Posted by DSeid View Post
Specific to child molestation - not sure which is less rational: being afraid of an unknown male sitting on the park bench while you are there supervising your child; or being afraid of being falsely accused by an unknown child in a movie theater or another public location.
I think this is one of the most.....saddening....things about the current environment. Zeitgeist. Whatever. Watching young kids play at the playground is an exercise in small moments of delight. When I watched my son or daughter interact with other children, most of whom were strangers to them, I was privy to the expansion of their world. I was able to see them learn to negotiate. Play. Invite. Accept. Deal with hurt feelings in minor matters. And so much more. An awful lot of the joyous moments of parenthood. Anyone who has loved their own kids or other kids in their life know the happiness felt at these moments.
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  #267  
Old 12-10-2017, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard View Post
Wow, I didn't expect so much support (aside from Little Nemo, who completely missed the point ).

I guess adult males are no longer allowed to interact with minors on any level. If I were driving in an unfamiliar town and I craved a Slurpee, I'd better not roll down the window and ask the kids on the corner if there is a 7-11 nearby. A description of me and my vehicle will end up on the local news.


mmm
What really gets me is that my nephew wants to be a teacher for younger children and he's afraid he'll be discriminated against just because he's male.
My sister's worried that since my nephew is extremely naive he'll end up in some misunderstanding.

Last edited by furryman; 12-10-2017 at 02:43 PM.
  #268  
Old 12-10-2017, 03:15 PM
up_the_junction up_the_junction is online now
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What really gets me is that my nephew wants to be a teacher for younger children and he's afraid he'll be discriminated against just because he's male.
My sister's worried that since my nephew is extremely naive he'll end up in some misunderstanding.
What's also tragic, in a time where so many children are raised in single parent households, is how many children may not experience a positive male influence at all in their lives until they leave their first school.

I'm male so I have some sense of the difficulty boys can experience in a total matriarchy. In fact I've seen many boys told 'to behave' when *behave* is what is normal for girls, where running around, being mischievous and expending all that energy is effectively considered bad behaviour.
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Last edited by up_the_junction; 12-10-2017 at 03:16 PM.
  #269  
Old 12-10-2017, 03:25 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is online now
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Hmm. So I wonder what we can do to change the culture of fear and paranoia. I guess women would have to lead the charge on this one, since we arguably have the most power in school/child-friendly scenarios.

I don't have kids yet, but my best attempt as an individual would be making an effort to actively engage male parents more in school and other child-friendly activities, to normalize male parental involvement or even strong relationships between men and kids. Even though I'm shy, it would mean talking to men I see on the playground and making them feel more welcome.

Relationships between men and kids are hugely important at the DV shelter where I work. Their only male role models tend to be abusive ones. We've gotta have guys there showing them a different way to be a man. up_the_junction is right, there are some things women can't do for boys.
  #270  
Old 12-10-2017, 09:54 PM
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To follow up on my earlier posts about how anxious I get in certain situations, I must say watching the video of Daniel Shaver being shot to death by the police does absolutely nothing to calm those fears. It makes a lot of the claims that false allegations aren't something people shouldn't worry about or are irrational seem ridiculuous. To some segments of the population, any interaction with the police is something that needs to be avoided at all costs. If you are poor or a minority, the police often make certain assumptions about you and they have no problem using violence to get their way with little or no provacation.

Daniel Shaver Death
https://splinternews.com/former-cop-...his-1821127334 (Warning: there is a video of the Daniel Shaver death in the above story)
  #271  
Old 12-10-2017, 11:40 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is online now
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Here is something to consider. The statistical probability of a black man getting killed by police is pretty low. The reason we are so outraged and concerned about these incidents is because they represent the most egregious extreme of the pervasive problem of police harassment and brutality. They are the tip of a very large iceberg. With false accusations, there's not really an iceberg.

Believe me, I relate to anxiety and I'm sorry you're suffering. I once went through a months-long bout of night terror that I would be burned alive. I'd be so deep into the fear I'd envision my eyeballs melting and all sorts of horrible things. It felt so real and probable despite its relative rarity that I wanted to die just to avoid the possibility. I think about burning alive every time I see a fire, but I still cook my food and roast marshmallows and try to enjoy life. I feel similar fear around being tortured, or operated on without anasthesia - all rare, but real things that happen. Statistics really help and comfort me in these cases.

My fears, by the way, are probably symptoms of PTSD. Once you've felt complete helplessness to avoid harm in some contexts, your brain invents all sorts of new contexts that could hurt you. I got that PTSD from physical danger but also from the emotional hell of abuse disclosure when I was 17. It's horrible when nobody believes you and you're telling the truth. Believe me when I say I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

But - and this is key - I survived. People survive all kinds of terrible shit. We rebuild our lives, find meaning in it, and carry on. Hell, people even survive being burned alive. You are stronger than you think.

My advice, if this is a real fear for you, is research it. Find out as much as you can about it. Figure out your statistical odds. Read accounts of people who experienced it. See the ways that they coped with it. One of the biggest things that helped me with my burning alive thing was following the Facebook account of a young Florida officer who had been nearly burned to death. His father posted every day, every painful second, from the 911 call to several months later when his son was finally released from the hospital. It was horrible, but it made me realize "shit, people survive this." The officer went home determined to advocate for burn victims.

Again. You are stronger than you think.

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  #272  
Old 12-11-2017, 12:49 AM
dorvann dorvann is offline
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I'm just glad I now live in rural area where I don't have to interact with people often. It's a lot easy to control the situations I'm in and I just can't imagine
having to live in the city. Having to deal with the constant traffic and congestion of people of city life would drive me up the wall. I'd probably be completely agoraphobic
and not go out in public at all.

PTSD isn't fun to deal with. Sometimes the only way to get better is to remove yourself entirely from the environment wear the trauma happened so you aren't
surrounded by constant reminders of it. I'm actually doing better now than I have years.
  #273  
Old 12-11-2017, 03:00 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is online now
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I'm glad you're doing better. It sounds like you have a lot of anxiety about this and many other things. I also get nervous around crowds. I hope you're getting the help you need. Anxiety is terrible to live with, but very treatable.

And another thing. Just because some fears are not rational doesn't mean that they aren't understandable. It doesn't mean you're stupid or bad for having the fear. We can't really control what we're afraid of, only how we choose to cope.
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