I'm not afraid to leave the country I know, move to a foreign city where I only know 3 people and call it home. I'm not afraid of the Paris metro at night or even crossing the path of a crazy man. I can defend myself. I'm not a chicken-little or a scared-y cat. I am brave. I am courageous. I have been trained in the most powerful military in the world.
But Sunday night, I discovered one of my biggest fears. A fear I never knew I had, but one that has moved to the top my list. It now sits above the only fear I had ever bothered to write on my list, which had been being in an airplane that suddenly falls a few hundred feet then recovers, after all drinks hit the ceiling then fall to the floor. I've been through that, with passengers screaming as if they are on a roller coaster going down the first dip. The fear last night was worst. It was not on an airplane, but it lasted longer, maybe one hour, maybe longer.
What experience could be possibly be worst? What is it that the military did not and could not prepared me for? Being stuck inside a tiny elevator in Paris, that's what. Why? Where did all the fear come from? Why couldn't I breathe? Why was I so afraid? Why was I terrified? Tripped between two floors?
I was trapped. No way out. I've never in my adult life, ever been trapped, stuck, inside a little box. No control. But why did I feel like I could not breathe? Why did my hands and body begin to shake uncontrollably? Why was I suddenly so hot and pouring with sweat as if I were drenched in the rain? Where did all the fear which was more like terror come from?
Last night, I was trapped, someone, anyone needed to get me out, save my life, there was not enough air, I was going to suffocate, I was going to die. So I screamed! I screamed not from the top of my lungs, but from the bottom of my soul, I screamed for help. I screamed from a place I never knew a scream could come from. I never knew I could make a sound like the scream coming from within, but it came from terror, deep inside…I screamed.
I tried to put the key next to the magnetic lock and push the buttons, but nothing worked. My hands were shaking so much, I could not hold on to the key. It feel from my hands. I was going to die! “Someone help me please! Hurry, get me out of here.” I cried. Helpless, I cried! Pushed buttons, screamed and tried to breath.