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Question
Posted by: Desperate at night | 2008/07/17

FEAR that I cannot control

Hi Doctor
I live with a host family because I am a caregiver and sometimes this family spends weekends away or like this time they are on holidays. So I am alone at home quite often. This time they are away until 27th July.
My problem is that I am afraid of being alone in this big house. There are roof windows and doors that someone could possible open easily. I look back frequently during the day to see if someone is behind me. But at night it' s a lot worse. When I am in bed I keep asking myself if this is the night someone will come in. I lock my door, but it' s a wooden door, anyone could open it with a strong push. Once one of the children knocked on my door. That' s when this fear became stronger. What should I do if someone knocked on the door (now that the family is away)? What should I do if someone tryed to open and saw it is locked? Would the invader know someone is inside and leave? Should I say I am inside so that they leave? Should I remain silent and hope they go away? And if they tryed to open the door, should I scream? Or should I say something like " Aleida, is it you?"  But then the stranger would know my next step is open the door because I think Aleida is there. And if I called the police, it' s very likely they would hear me and know what I am doing. And if I screamed, I know my neighbours would hear me and try to help (here we all know each other) but wouldn' t the invader be faster? If I opened the curtains and turned on the lights, people could see me from the street, so the invader wouldn' t hurt me or they might see him too. But what if everyone was sleeping at that time? Everyone here goes to bed at 10 pm and then the street is very quiet. What should someone do in my situation? Would someone enter a house like this in the first place, if they knew everyone is friends in this neighbourhood?
And what can I do to feel calm? Is there any reason to panic? Do things like this ever happen? If so, how do people react?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Sounds like there's a mixture of relevant and reasonable concerns about security at the house, and perhaps a degree of personal excess fear and concern about it. Seeing a counsellor could help the latter aspect of your problem ; as for the first part, can't you discuss calmly with the family your concerns about their safety and securirty ? What sort of home do they run ? Why on earth should ANYBODY, friend or foe, come to their door at night, without an invitation, and try to open the door ? If you are being left alone in the home with the children, then the family ought to be really interested in improving security, maybe with burglar alarms and a panic button you could use in emergency. Are you concerned about one of the children coming to you at night ? SHouldnt the family install simple intercom systems so the kids could call and speak to you in that way, rather than wandering round at night ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Always... | 2008/07/17

remember, your thoughts become your reality. STOP contemplating what COULD happen and concentrate on more pleasant things, like reading a book, watching a movie, talking to friends on the phone, STOP doing this to yourself.

Reply to Always...

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