So this morning's news had the answer to my question last night. The ridiculously large amount of police activity near my work last night was due to an armed robbery. The robbery happened at a restaurant that is seriously just around the corner from my work, a restaurant that I frequent, one that I have walked to from my work building. The man had a gun, the restaurant had 8 people in it, one of them being a teenager. It happened at the exact moment I was punching out. I was leaving work, walking through my parking garage, while the police were unsuccessfully trying to find the suspect.
Now I know I wasn't involved in any way. By the time I pulled out of my parking garage, the police had already blocked off several side streets and the entrances/exits to all of the surrounding parking lots. I was never in any real danger. But for some reason I cannot convince my emotions of that. No matter how many times I try to remind myself that I was not the one traumatized, my body and emotions are telling me differently. I am being bombarded with feelings of insecurity about my safety. I work in a great neighborhood. I (usually) feel very safe there. I have walked around in this same area at night with my son or with a girlfriend. My husband and I have gone on walks or played on playgrounds at night in this area. It's a good part of town. And it's a good part of town that right now I don't feel very safe in.
I don't really feel safe at all, anywhere, right now though. I don't like that someone stole (once again) my feelings of safety and security. I feel vulnerable. I feel scared. And for some reason, I feel weak again. And I have realized that my natural reaction to feeling vulnerable is to double up all of my protections. And food, or I should say the restricting of food, is one of the areas that I want to run to to protect myself. It doesn't make sense. I'm healthy enough to run if I needed to. I'm healthy enough to put up a good fight if I needed to. I'm healthy enough for my brain to remember details like descriptions and directions. And yet my first line of defense that I want to run to is to take away those advantages and go back to the girl who wouldn't stand a chance other than sheer adrenaline if put in a dangerous situation.
I drove out to see Hubby at work this morning for his lunch break. It was how I kept myself from restricting. Eating with him or not eating at all, I chose to eat and to feel safe in his presence for a few extra minutes. I know it was a healthy choice, but it wasn't an easy choice. It seems that when being healthy is a choice, it is rarely the easy one. I want to put my heart and body in lock down to protect it. The problem is that it isn't really protecting me. I hate that.
I want my sense of safety back. I want to not feel like a frightened little girl again. I want to not feel weak and powerless. I want my control. Control, maybe that is why restricting feels like the right answer, because life is not controllable but food is. I'm in a better place in my recovery simply because I can identify that. That doesn't really make it an easier place of recovery, just a stronger one.
I'm strong enough to fight the orange in my head that swears she is the way to be safe and protected. I need to find safety and protection somewhere else, not in her arms.