After spending so much time with shitty people it's hard to stop being afraid. For the longest time, I was legit afraid of men. I am still somewhat. People are dangerous and unpredictable.
But not everyone, really.
It was normal to be surrounded by people who I didn't know. Strangers. People who could do anything. I was around people who would steal your things the minute you turned your back. People who were drug dealers. People who ripped off drug dealers. People who didn't give a shit who they put in danger, whether it was you, them, children, didn't matter.
I had a mother-in-law who I had only met at a court appearance. I had a father-in-law whose quality time included an NA meeting. A husband who was no stranger to overdoses. I couldn't even depend on him to wake up in the morning. A boyfriend who insisted I was hitting on our waiter.
I've had game systems stolen. My car was stolen twice. My ring. Money. My sense of security. I have hid from guns. I knew someone who was so fucked up he set his apartment on fire and killed his grandmother.
People would stop showing up when they went to jail. "Friends" who would flee from the cops after getting everyone arrested. Friends who were advised by their lawyers not to talk to you. Friends who would stop talking to you after you told them to leave their husband after he had attempted to kill them.
I wish I was exaggerating. I wish I could say that this happened to someone else. I wish I could tell you that after so many years I have gotten over all of this. I cannot. I have not.
I've met great people since then. I have a very hard time trusting them. I know they will let me down. I know they will make me uncomfortable. I know I am better off by myself. But I'm not. There are some great people out there and I need them around. I need to learn to trust them and me. It's hard though. Even after a decade, it's a lesson I'm still working on.