My mom is a very paranoid woman. Anytime we went out, whether it be as children just riding our bikes in the neighborhood or teenagers going out to find something to do, she would tell us that some prisoners escaped, so be careful.
I remember thinking that prison sure needs to do something about all those criminals getting out so frequently. I should have known my mom was just crazy and was trying to make sure we stayed away from other crazy people.
And the white van!
Yes, I have an aversion to white vans. Anytime I see one I think about the constant warnings to avoid them. Only bad people drive white vans.
The paranoia reached different areas of my life,
not just the safety aspect. In high school health class I was made to sit in the hallway, by myself, because no one else’s parents were silly enough to think that if my daughter doesn’t learn about sex education then maybe she’ll never have sex.
I think that backfired because it seemed to put a target on my back and made me the little naive girl which attracted the teenage predators. Don’t worry, I stayed the little naive girl because of a healthy dose of pessimism from my father. Paranoia + Pessimism = an entire lifetime of trying to be optimistic in order to stay happy. But that’s a whole other story.
I know the way I was raised is why I became a writer
and it shows in my everyday life. I’m always asking what if, and imagining crazy scenarios that could happen around me. Maybe one day one of those scenarios will actually come true but until then it makes for interesting stories. I thank my mother for instilling that paranoia into me and creating an active imagination.
Now that I have a daughter of my own I completely understand wanting to try to protect her from this scary world. Who knows, maybe the paranoia and other quirks I pass on to her will make her want to be a writer too.
If you see me on the street
looking over my shoulder at you to make sure you’re not going to kidnap me don’t say Hi, I just might douse you with pepper spray.
What do you think? Do you have a paranoid person in you life? How does paranoia effect you?