Fear and Its Friend

I just crawled into bed after too many hours spent watching National News. I find hurricane coverage captivating because nature is amazing and I’ve always liked weather. Plus, it’s thrilling to watch newscasters and meteorologists report from the middle of a hurricane while trying to not get blown away. I wonder if they love doing it as much as we love watching it? I suspect as much. Anyway, a few days ago I started this post and it was about not feeling safe, when does that feeling happen, and what we can do about it. After tonight I scrapped the whole thing and it became a stream of consciousness post about being afraid.
I’m in bed in my house in a safe neighborhood surrounded by people I trust. Outside the neighbors are sitting by a beautiful fire and there is not a hurricane in sight. I wanted to write something light and funny but instead I can’t stop thinking about how many people don’t feel safe tonight. How many people don’t feel safe most nights.
I have clients and co-workers in Texas, some directly in the line of Hurricane Harvey’s wrath. One of my co-workers had twins a week ago who ended up in the NICU. They were able to leave the hospital today in Galveston and instead of going home they had to evacuate. First they were ripped from the safety of the womb, then from the safety of the hospital, which quite possibly could have been flooded or without electricity within hours of their departure. I don’t know where they are now but I’m glad they are only a few days old and don’t know to be afraid.
Speaking of wrath and fear, Sheriff Arpaio is free and because of him, so many are not. My God, I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that someone like him exists let alone try to digest everything he has done. Read this and this. Pardon me, but no, this is not okay. This is not right. We should all be afraid.
Last week my husband was gone for a few nights and even though my neighborhood is safe and my house is safe, I couldn’t help but think the worst every night. Surely someone was going to break in and kill me. It only makes sense. Just as I would start to drift off to sleep I would look at my bedroom door, expecting an intruder to walk in. One night I was sure I smelled smoke so I walked through the whole house, certain I would find a freak electrical fire already raging. Nope, nothing.
That’s not fear. That’s its friend, anxiety.
I don’t think I know fear. The only times I can remember being truly, legitimately afraid for my life are the few seconds after I either made or almost made a poor decision while driving. Actually, I wasn’t feeling afraid, I was feeling relieved. Nevermind.
I don’t know fear. I don’t know what it’s like to be truly afraid. I’ve never had my life, my family, or my home in the direct path of a storm as destructive as Hurricane Harvey. I don’t know what it’s like to be pulled over by a police officer and feel the need to pray that I will get out of the situation alive. I don’t know the fear of walking the streets of my town knowing someone like Sheriff Arpaio is in charge and wants me to suffer until I die. I don’t know what it’s like to be transgender, to wonder if I’m going to lose my life and my livelihood because of the very same people I have dedicated everything I have and everything I am to defend.
I do know what it’s like to be a woman, to be anxious about my surroundings, including how far I am from my car and who might be waiting for me between here and there. Scenarios play out in my mind but they are hypothetical and anxiety driven. I have never been truly gripped by fear.
I know so many people are in the grip of fear tonight, for so many different reasons. This post is for them. I wish I could make everyone feel safe. I wish I could make everyone safe.



  1. Debra @ KevinandDebra on August 28, 2017 at 5:41 pm

    We truly are lucky to live in America. Hurricanes, tornado’s and any natural disaster is a terrible thing. I place my trust in the Good Lord!

  2. Valerie on August 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    Wow, this is such a beautifully written post! I definitely understand these fears, and I also wish that we could all feel more safe!


    • Courtney A. Casto on September 14, 2017 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks Valerie!

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