Hi I recently moved to a tiny sleep village for the reason I love country walks. My bf was eager to show off its peaceful rolling hills and we have walked all over the area together for the last 3 years. We live at the end of a quiet street that leads to fields and eventually the next tiny village. Last month I was really stressed and needed to get some air. He was ill so I was keen to just get out and walk it off so I could get some better quality sleep than I’d had for a while. It was dark but there’s never any “city issues” here. Right outside my door, just as I was crossing the road as we’re so rural there’s only payment on the other side, under the street lamp a fast walking male passed me and said “hello”. I wasn’t sure if it was a neighbour and didn’t want to seem impolite so I said hello back as I scuttled off into the opposite direction down towards the village Centre. The street lamps stop for a while and the road is in pitch blackness for about 1/4 of a mile and I started to feel uncomfortable which I convinced myself was stupid. I looked around, nothing and no one around. I headed off again but then heard a rustling and the hairs on the back of my neck were on end. This time I turned to see the guy had turned around and as he passed the lamplight where we’d met minutes before he was looking around, then when he saw me he started marching towards me. Surely no? I’m being paranoid… but it was dark here… nobody would see him attack me… I started to run towards the town thinking it best to put as much distance between us as possible. Should I knock a neigbour’s door at 10pm and say “I’m being paranoid a stranger might attack me?” Didn’t think that was an option. Luckily I was able to phone my bf and being nearby he was able to get me into his car within minutes. He said the guy looked manic. Who knows? Perhaps it was just a misunderstanding. So now I’ve bought rape alarms and identifier spray for everybody in my family and instructed them on its usage. What a world we live in when we can’t feel safe to peep outside the front door!

Mother, author, poet, educator, escapee. Obsessed with finding ease in relationships, health, wellbeing and the juggling of life. alexisbehrend.com