Is my mind stronger than I am?


cc licensed flickr photo shared by ex_magician

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m skeptical of the so-called “power of suggestion”.

However, my experience yesterday afternoon has made me a believer.

I wish I could say my experience was a positive one, but alas, nothing could be further from the truth.

In any case, I should blame Roxy for the outcome, since it was her fault we didn’t make it out the door at the usual time.

Valuable daylight time was lost, as I crawled on all fours pulling her out from under the sofa after she decided it was a good time to play hide and seek.

As a result, when we finally made it out the door, the sun was already setting.

Nevertheless, we headed to the forest where we always walk in the afternoon.

Upon arriving, I don’t know whether it was the sound of crows cawing or the fact that I could no longer see the sun shining through the trees, but I started to feel trepidation.

Suddenly, I began to notice how tall the trees looked in the dark shadows that abounded in the forest at this time.

My heart started to beat faster.

My senses became more alert and every twig that cracked under my feet, seemed to announce that the worst was yet to come.

My muscles clenched as I dragged little Roxy and told her this was not the time to pee.

The faster I walked, the faster my mind raced.

I think I even started to hallucinate and spied a man with a chainsaw hiding behind one of the trees.

Why, oh why, had I been foolish enough to take this lonely trail?

I started to believe this trail would be the last thing Roxy and I would see.

My hands started to get clammy.

And then I spotted them; a couple walking toward us.

I felt relief, quickly followed by dread, as I remembered the countless episodes of Criminal Minds I had seen where “couple” serial killers had butchered their victims.

Had it come to this?

Would Roxy and I be the victims of a violent crime?

My hands began to tremble.

I heard myself whisper, “Roxy, stop it. Stop trying to squat. We have bigger things to worry about.”

The couple loomed closer.

The man was missing his two front teeth. The woman was wearing a sweatshirt with a large neck hole like the one Jennifer Beals wore in Flashdance.

I couldn’t believe it.

We were going to be murdered by two toothless people sporting fashion trends circa 1980.

I sadly acknowledged that this was not the end I had envisioned for either of us.

Roxy was supposed to have a good fifteen years left and me? Well, I still hadn’t seen Rome.

Suddenly, I felt a renewed surge of energy.

There was no way I was going to croak before seeing Rome.

I quickly devised a get away plan.

I would command Roxy to sink her tiny teeth into their flesh, and then we’d run.

We’d run faster than them.

I took a deep breath.

Who was I kidding?

Roxy, still sporting a full bladder, wouldn’t be able to get very far, and I’d be lucky if I made it to the next trail without hyperventilating.

Besides, something told me we’d fall while trying to outrun our captors; the same way victims in slasher movies do.

This is it. And not in a good Michael Jackson way, but in this is it, as in, this is the end.

I knew what would happen.

They’d get rid of me first, and then they would barbecue Roxy.

Why, oh why, had we gone out so late!

Nervously, I noticed they were five feet away.

I felt the anxiety wash over my body.

I started to feel a panic attack coming on.

Maybe if we lay down and played dead they’d walk past us.

Two steps in front of us.

The toothless man smiled a toothless smile.

The woman looked at me like I was a deranged mental patient who’d been given a weekend pass.

And then something unexpected happened: they walked past us.

One minute they were there, and just as quickly they were gone.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

My heart stopped racing.

The palms of my hands stopped sweating and Roxy was finally able to do her business.

And then, another noise.

A new noise.

It sounded like footsteps crunching leaves behind us.

Without giving it another thought, we started to run.

We ran from the wooded trail and into the street.

Cars drove past us. People walked on the opposite side of the street.

I exhaled.

I had escaped the power of suggestion in one piece.

And then I heard a noise.

I heard myself whisper, “Roxy, is the man standing by that tree wearing a mask?”

Have you ever been a victim of the power of suggestion?

Tell me about it!

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32 thoughts on “Is my mind stronger than I am?

  1. Ah yes, ye of the overactive imagination…

    That would be me.

    The girl walking to her car in the parking lot with the keys from her keychain strategically placed between each finger, so with one swift punch I’ll rip up the face of that guy standing a little to close to my car, obviously there to attack when I am busy buckling the kid into his car seat.

    The girl who only a few weeks ago locked her bedroom door, hid in the bathroom and planned an escape out the bathroom window if the cops didn’t respond fast enough to my 911 call. (yes, really)

    The girl who once stayed up in a tree because I was SURE that an alligator was waiting for me at the bottom. (to be fair, I did JUST see an alligator)

    I watch way too many crime shows.

    The upside, Bella, is that our overactive imaginations are signs of our creativity which translates into great writing. Maybe one day, it will translate into a published novel.

    If we don’t die of a self induced heart attack first.

    1. Amber, you are hysterical! My nana would agree with you. She always told me that imagination would “get me in the end.” I’m still trying to figure out if this is a good thing or not! Yes, girl, let hope that we can publish the novel first! In a locked bathroom, with an escape plan, really? Oh my! :)

    2. In all fairness, our house was broken into the day before. The door was damaged and the hubs neglected to secure it shut before he left for work. I awoke to an open front door and immediately assumed someone was in the house.

      THE KILLER IS IN. THE. HOUSE!

      The escape planning is a regular thing for me though. I hear a noise at night and am immediately deciding which object to bludgeon my opponent with and which door or window to head for.

      Sigh.

    3. Okay, that’s it. I want partner with you in the event of an emergency or catastrophe! Will you be my buddy, pretty please? :)

  2. You crack me up! I love you, dear Bella! Don’t we all do this sometimes?! I think you need to trade in your Criminal Minds for the Chronicles of Narnia then maybe you’d hear the white witch’s sled! Feed what you want fed, give what you want begotten:) And wear a bubble when you need to, they help!

    1. Brynne, you are super sweet, kiddo! I most definitely am going to have to take a break from crime shows and delve into the Chronicles. Thank goodness the summer means a break from my favorite tv series. Would you believe I actually think I could moonlight as a CSI? Yes, I definitely need to plug into the Chronicles…
      :)

    2. More than watching the Chronicles… is being aware of what we allow into ourselves. Tv shows, friends, environments, noise. When one is very creative/receptive, everything becomes food affecting life in ways most of us don’t even realize. And as they say…we are what we eat, no?:) Great day, dear Bella.

    3. I love this concept! So many times we’re affected by toxic environments, people, and circumstances. I agree, we should be more careful in who, what, and where we let in. Have a great day, Brynne! :)

  3. Oh yes I have….when I am standing in front of the gelato case trying to choose flavors. All of them are saying pick me! pick me! So I pick 2 to go in a cone and 3 to end up in a half kilo cold pack container to go.

  4. This brings back memories of a time my hunch was telling me to feel dread–and I was right. I was walking to from my complex parking lot to my apt. It was a Sunday afternoon and no one around. I had just been to grocery store and was loaded down with shopping bags. A man in a suit was following me. A red flag, caution went up inside me but I tried to rationalize, what harm can a nicely dressed man do? Answer: enough. He mugged me and took off at great speed. Luckily, I wasn’t harmed, just lost my purse, wallet, etc.

    Another great post. Love the humor in the face of anxiety!

    1. Monica, mugged by a man in a suit? OMG! What is the world coming to? It used to be that we would be able to spot “muggers” a mile away but nowadays, anything goes. How utterly sad, eh? I’m sorry that happened to you! I’m glad you weren’t harmed! Love that you liked the post! :)

  5. There’s a scene in Anne of Green Gables where she’s telling a ghost story to her friend as they walk through a dark woods. When she falls into an old well, Diana just stops and screams and screams. Classic! I love your play-by-play. For me, it’s parking garages. No thank you. I’ve seen way too many chase scenes in those things.

    1. Lori, parking garages are the worse. I have never been able to go into one at night without having the hairs in the back of my neck stand up. Like the little kid in the Sixth Sense, I feel the dread and it gets really cold. You’d think I’m the one who fell in the well instead of Anne! :)

  6. Scary! That said, from my (limited) experience, when something bad happens, it is never where I expected it to be…And when I am scared, nothing happens. There might be something wrong with me…

    1. You know, my sister says the same thing! She tells me that when she’s scared the most, nada, and the minute she relaxes, zap! All I can say is that it must not be good for the nerves to not be able to predict an outcome. :)

  7. Came here via Funny Women forum.

    Great story – I love the way you ratcheted up the tension. Particularly because I do this ALL THE TIME [like this morning in the parking garage].

    1. I was mentioning to Lori that parking garages are my downfall as well. They’re so conducive to anxiety, don’t you think? Either that or I’ve been watching too many slasher movies! :)

  8. OK this line had me rolling on the floor…
    “I couldn’t believe it. We were going to be murdered by two toothless people sporting fashion trends circa 1980.”

    Ever consider stand-up comedy? You are funny…
    :)

    1. Tracey, when I was fourteen years old I told my mother I was going to be a stand up comedienne when I got older. She said, “If that’s the case, I forbid you to make jokes about your family, yourself, your beliefs, your friends, and your pets.” I can safely say she pretty much killed that dream. hee hee! :) In the meantime, I try to find humor in all circumstances–even the bad and scary ones. Not as a way to deflect but instead, to make whatever mess I’m in seem more tolerable! :) I’m happy you liked the post!

  9. Bella

    Not funny at the time, by hysterical for those of us sitting snugly in front of our laptops wearing our pink bunny slippers. I agree, you’d be a hoot in a jam. I want to hang out with you and Amber – if anything it would make great copy for a running reality show.

    Brenda

    1. haha, Brenda! I think we should submit our names to Survivor. I want to see what member of the tribe dares to vote us off! If anything, we’d go into hysterical fits of laughter as we attempted to eat cockroach larva or whatever it is they make those poor souls eat! Darn it–now I want pink bunny slippers! :)

  10. oh lady, you’ve scared me and make me laugh, all in the same paragraph, you’re so talented!
    And I was touched by your sudden strong, because you can not die without seeing Rome!
    And I’m still laughing about that toothless people sporting 80s fashion trends!!, yes, this is the kind of thing that occurs to me when I’m getting afraid!
    besos sin miedo!

    1. Señora Allnut, you’re so good for my ego, you know that? :) I’m so happy I can make you laugh! And trust me when I tell you this couple would’ve benefited from your savvy fashion sense! hee hee! Besos sin miedo, amiga!

  11. These things always happen when you’re alone don’t they? Walking in the woods, a remote parking lot, in bed at night (when everyone else is away)… Maybe we just can’t process the silence after being subjected to the constant banter and activity that fills our daily life. Our brain expects to be stimulated at all times. So when our environment gives us silence, the brain plays by itself with whatever it can pick up; the creak of a floorboard, a cawing bird, gusts of wind.

    1. Haley, absolutely! Thank you for your interpretation for what causes this phenomenon! I’m glad I’m not the only one who also feels this way in bed alone as well! :)

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