Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

Was there ever a time when you were frightened for your life?

Asked by Cruiser (40421points) May 17th, 2011

Pretty simple straight forward question but I would like to hear about what it felt like and any changes in your behavior during and after the experience.

I was in a plane on 9/11 and after the pilot announced that we were being forced to land at the nearest airport due to terrorist activities and we were flying without radar…I felt a sense of helplessness I had never felt before and the second we landed my mind shifted into survival mode which was further heightened by National Guardsman waving M-16 rifles telling us to run and get the hell out of the terminal.

It felt like survival of the fittest, everyman for himself…I didn’t feel afraid of dying as much as I felt the need just to survive whatever it was that was happening all around us. Shelter, food, and transportation that was at a premium became top priority for me.

I will never forget that terrifying day as long as I live. How about you??

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42 Answers

cazzie's avatar

There was a man in my neighbourhood back in the US who was stalking me. I didn’t notice, exactly, but a friend of mine pointed him out and told him his story (he had just been released from prison after trying to kill his ex-girlfriend). It didn’t cross my mind for a second that he was hanging around the building because of me, but as it turned out, it was. One day, when I was home on my own, he got into the building and knocked on my door. He asked if Barbara (my roommate and the name on the letterbox) was home. He asked to come in and wait for her. I don’t remember much after that. My brain shut down. A guy I’d known for years who lived down the hall came home and saw what was happening and my confused look and must have also known about this guy and he intervened. I woke up in my apartment still dazed and I asked what happened and the nice guy from down the hall explained. I think he saved my life that day. I’m different now. Much older with mother bear instincts, so I’d like to think that wouldn’t happen again. I’ve been is slightly less scary situations and managed to fight my way out. I don’t think men ever expect a woman’s punch.

Coloma's avatar

I’ve had a lot of close calls, mostly accidents.

One of the scariest was riding my horse bareback near a lake I lived by, there were 3 other horses on the property that were free roaming the lake acreage. Someone nearby fired a gun somewhere in the woods and the other horses bolted, spooking my guy who bolted with them down a steep, boulder strewn hill. I knew if I didn’t bail the risk of my horse falling in his panic was great.

I threw myself off him and landed on the rocks, ( head didn’t crack open amazingly! ) severely dislocating my shoulder and left elbow, ( which required a surgery and pin) along with various other less serious. but painful injuries.

I was completley alone on a 200 acre property at least a mile and a half from my house.

I managed to round up my horse and limp home, which was no small feat. lol

Other potentially life threatening situations involved nearly being run over by an airborne Jeep on a hiking trail and diving off of a small cliff at the last second as the jeep sailed over my head. haha

I have been shot out by a bow hunter on trail, chased by a Rottweiler while walking, was in a roll over car accident as a teen, have stepped on rattlesnakes, come face to face with a mountain lion behind my barn at night and have nearly drowned several times during my wild river rafting days.

I have had a collision on a dirt bike that knocked me out and gave me a concussion that left me temporarily blind. ( Very scary! )

Oh, and my crazy old neighbor that used to shoot his rifle towards my property, once dropping a tree limb over my head as I ran for shelter. lol
None of my fears for my life have involved crime or people, just nature and horses and cars and rivers. haha The life of Annie Oakley in the hills.

Amazngly my joints are pretty pain free, most of the time! lol

cazzie's avatar

@Coloma you are danger girl!

Coloma's avatar


LOL, yeah. had I been born a man, I’d have had big balls! haha

cazzie's avatar

Now that @Coloma I can think of two or three other times I was scared for my life. One was a hiking incident in New Zealand. The person taking me for the hike got lost and we both nearly fell off the side of a mountain side. I dug down deep and used all my strength and resolve to keep climbing. I can still feel the small trees I tried to cling to and pull myself up on pull out of the saturated ground and leave me slipping until I could grab onto enough grass to hold myself to the incline. EEEsh. The other times were medical. I was passing a gall stone but didn’t know what it was and thought I was dying from cancer or something. The second time I thought I was going to die, I knew it was a gall stone, but thought I was going to die from the pain. The complications during my son’s birth were not even a fraction as scary and painful as the gall stones.

Coloma's avatar


I can only imagine, Ow, ow, ow!

sliceswiththings's avatar

I took a bus alone for six hours through Mexico at night not too long ago (alone as in I was the only non-Mexican). We were stopped a few times and searched by men with big guns. It was also raining and we were driving on a cliff. I’ll admit that I feared for my life that night.

TexasDude's avatar

Me and some friends were attacked by a rabid coyote which I summarily had to shoot.

I’ve also been chased for 12 miles down lonely backcountry roads by a guy who was eventually arrested for kidnapping, torturing, and skinning alive peoples’ dogs.

Neither of these instances, nor the other dangerous things I’ve experienced have really changed me in any way.

ucme's avatar

Only twice & on both occasions I managed to refrain from soiling my pants….an admirable achievement I feel.
The first time was when I was a kid. We were on holiday & me & my brothers were playing football. Some fool kicked the ball way out of touch & off I set to catch it. Problem was this cliff face was about to engulf the ball. I slid to kick the ball away & ended up hanging from the edge, clutching the grass.
Second time I was knocked over by two fucking morons who mounted the pavement. I instantly turned & leapt hoping to avoid my head being turned into a colander. The car struck the back of my legs sending my head crashing through the windscreen. I was then flung forward, but never lost my balance & managed to stay on my feet. Few stitches in the back of my head & I was as right as rain, close escape.

tinyfaery's avatar

As I early as age 4 I remember fearing for my life due to my dad’s anger and abuse. Nevermind how I’ve been changed. A better question is how could I have been different.

syz's avatar

When I had an ectopic rupture, a body temp of 93, and a blood pressure of 30. From the time I entered the emergency room to the time I got wheeled into surgery, only 17 minutes passed.

The other time was when I went into a tiger enclosure to give diazepam to a seizuring tiger. She came out of the seizure on her own and was frightened and dysphoric – it was a close call as to whether she was going to attack me or not. I had someone from outside the fence distract her, and was able to slip out.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Many times.The most recent was up in a small plane with Cap’n Asshat.XD
Another time that comes to mind was when a man walked into my house and upstairs where I was taking a shower.
He is the one who is very lucky to be alive.
I don’t get terrified,btw.;)
@Cruiser Here,have a bite of this meatcake XD

Coloma's avatar

@syz Wow…rabid Coyotes and groggy Tigers!!!!

“Cap;n asshat” lolol….and wow…stranger in the shower, now THAT is right out of Psycho! My worst fear I think, either in the bath or waking up to a stranger hovering over my bed! Aaaaaah!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma—It was pretty bizarre.I even got a picture of him while standing on the porch in a towel.The cops were trying not to laugh after I printed the photo out after being asked for a description.A friend told me it made the local paper,although I never saw this article…XD

flutherother's avatar

Only once as a kid when a raft we made drifted away from the shore and we had to swim for our lives against an ebb tide and the wind. I was not a very strong swimmer and I thought I might not make it….......

KateTheGreat's avatar

My entire childhood!

Also, during Easter time, they have these people dressed as the Easter bunny in the middle of the mall. This particular Easter bunny decided he wanted to follow me and I turned around and I was frightened. I screamed at the top of my lungs in front of everyone.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was too sick and too young to be afraid, but my family didn’t think I would see my 13th birthday after a botched appendix operation placed me at death’s door.

Sunny2's avatar

I was in a car with 3 guys on a mountain road in winter. They thought it was fun to spin the car on the icy road with a steep slope on each side; one going up, the other going down. Oh, and we’d been drinking. I was terrified. After maybe 3 spins, they noticed my white face and stricken look and stopped. They actually apologized, but I decided that these people would no longer be my friends.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Now I am afraid…very afraid! ;)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser …but are you terrified?? XD

Coloma's avatar

I was just very frightened when I ignited my garlic bread under the broiler…WHEW!
Forget forest fires over here, I can make my own forest fire right in my kitchen. and no, I am not having cocktails. lol

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Several. One I’ll share is when a bf and I went swimming at sundown in a Kauai island cove. The tide pulled us out and we spent about 40 minutes following the shore as best we could until we could make it back in. I’m terrified of water I can’t see all the way into even though I’m a very good swimmer and I knew sundown is shark feeding time, especially at the mouth of coves where natural water runs into the ocean. My bf was not a swimmer, only a dog paddler so I tried to be very calm so as not do or say anything that would panic him. I was afraid mostly of us exhausting before we could swim in but I was also afraid of sharks.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Not any more…I just had Mac & cheese made with Vanilla Almond milk! WTF is up with THAT! Terrorist attack!

Coloma's avatar


Was that some sort of twisted attempt to eat a half healthy meal? lol
Here, here..a very clever combo. I think a nice Cab would go well with that! lol

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser That sounds almost as good as the chocolate frosted salmon I had for dinner

Coloma's avatar dinner was so boring and conventional, raviole and salad, and now, some glazed walnuts. lol


I think you and cruiser should open a can call it Crucilles! haha

SABOTEUR's avatar


….probably during the time I worked as a cab driver.

The passenger I was transporting placed the barrel of a gun to the back of my head and quietly said

“You know what this is.”

Come to think of it…
...“frightened” is an understatement.

I was scared shitless.

Coloma's avatar


No way! I woulda keeled over from the shock alone!
So glad you were not hurt!
Did they catch the guy?

Maybe it wasn’t a real gun, maybe it was a Snickers bar! ;-)

SABOTEUR's avatar

They caught him.
Was supposed to go to trial.
He plea bargained.
Never heard anything more.

Then there was the time I got stabbed working in an adult book store.
It happened so fast I didn’t have time to become frightened.

Had an “out of body experience” with that incident.
Watched myself from “above” chase the guy from the store into the street
tackle him
and commence to beat the #$*! out of him.

Didn’t realize I had been stabbed until they pulled me off him and I saw the blood.
That’s when the pain hit me.

I think somebody was trying to tell me I was making wrong career choices, you think?

Coloma's avatar


There are no ‘accidents ;-)

Coloma's avatar

Oh, I completely forgot getting lost in a really bad part of L.A. a couple years ago on a girls weekend road trip with 2 friends. Took the wrong exit, the REALLY WRONG exit, and ended up in a baaad ass part of town at midnight.
Ya know, where every store has barred doors and windows and no one is smiling. lol

A cop happened by and led us dingy girls outta the ghetto.

Mariah's avatar

Age 17, following a long illness, having just started some heavy duty new meds, and while on IV nutrition, I developed extreme pain all over my body that could not be explained; I sure as hell hadn’t been exercising. I went to the ER and without doing any tests, they sent me away, saying it was probably a side effect of my new meds. Fuck those ER doctors.
It got worse, to the point that trying to walk left me in tears. This pain… I can’t even describe. I’ve had kidney stones and they don’t hold a candle to this shit. I finally went to another hospital’s ER. These people were responsible enough to do blood cultures, which take 48 hours to fully develop, and to admit me for the night.
I woke up the next morning shaking uncontrollably. At the same moment I was hitting my button to call for a nurse, a doctor was already running on her way to my room. She had just checked my blood cultures and they’d already grown some nasty shit. Within minutes there were 12 doctors in my room. My blood pressure was plummeting and they had to pump massive amounts of saline in me to keep it up. I remember, they were running out of places to put IVs, and one nurse tried to get a couple in my ankles. They brought me some demerol to stop the shaking because they couldn’t get IVs in. My mom was flipping out. I felt calm…not in the sense that I had accepted I might die, I just truly didn’t think I was going to. I guess part of that was ignorance; the other part was that I really didn’t feel all that unwell. Just cold…
They stablized me. It fortunately wasn’t until later that I learned what had happened to me. The IV site where I was getting nutrition (which, fyi, is not a normal IV – it’s a pretty bulky tube that goes into a large artery in the upper arm and straight to the heart) was infected, it had gone septic, and since it had gone so long without being caught (Fuck those ER doctors) it had reached a late stage of septic infection – septic shock. The blood pressure plummets and organs start dying pretty quickly if it can’t be stabilized. Something like ⅔ of all people who reach this stage of infection do not survive it – and considering I had been deathly ill for the previous three months, and was on immunosuppressing medication, I am ridiculously lucky not to be one of them. I was in the right place at the right time. If that second hospital hadn’t been on the ball, I feel certain that I would not be here today!

Coloma's avatar

Wow Mariah, that is quite a story! Lucky girl you were kiddo! :-)
—Feeling rather queasy thinking of an IV in my arm that goes to your heart, eeee—-

Scooby's avatar

Fell off a roof, twenty years ago….. I was helping a mate re-point his chimney stack….. I lost my footing & slipped off taking the guttering & facia boards with me…… I thought as I came off I was a gonner, a was, brown bread…… dead. As it happened the corner of the kitchen extension broke my fall, I hit that which spun me around, breaking my collar bone & dislocating my left shoulder :-/
I landed face down in the flower beds amongst the daffodils… unfortunately my legs came down knees first onto the concrete garden path, my left knee was dislocated also & I fractured my lower fibula too, left leg again :-/
I guess I fell somewhere near thirty odd feet or so……. I think that’s about the closest I’ve come to a near death experience….. Had it been my head that hit the concrete, I’d have been ok Lol….. :-/
There have been quite few times I was worried I’d end up, a was, but the roof fall was the closest think I came to thinking this is the end, I nearly drowned as a kid but was pulled to safety, it never occurred to then that I could have died…. You think you’er invisible as a kid, well, I know I did….. Ya live & learn :-/

cazzie's avatar

@Scooby eek… talking about roofs…. this weekend we had a ‘fear for our child’s life’ moment. He climbed out of his bedroom window and onto the roof…. 6 years old and had NO idea why Mamma and Pappa were upset that we found him up by the chimney.

Scooby's avatar


Yep, your little fella sounds very much like me as a nipper, you’ll have to keep an eye on him as nothing at that age poses any danger… As a lad I was always inspired by what I saw on TV….. Superman, Buck Rogers, all the action hero stuff.. I just wanted to be like them, inevitably me & my little friend were dubbed the dynamic duo by his Dad as we were always in some kind of scrape together Lol…… :-)
My mother often used to scold me for climbing trees, walls, shed roofs etc, but I never used to take any notice :-/
We were to buisy being hero’s Lol…. :-)

Coloma's avatar

I almost killed my mother when I was about 10, by bringing home a giant garter snake that promptly disgorged a huge toad on her foot while I was begging to keep it!
My poor mom, I was all ‘frogs and snails and puppy dog tails’ disguised as a little blonde sprite. lol

everephebe's avatar

Yes, there was a waterfall involved.

Coloma's avatar


Were you above it or below it? lol

everephebe's avatar

I was Wiley Coyote on it, through no fault of my own.

everephebe's avatar

Ok here’s the full story:

I was in a canoe. Unfortunately I wasn’t alone, I had a moron in the bow. Hit over the head a few too many times in my opinion and inbred to boot. I hope this guy never has kids, he’s the type to stare at your finger if you point at something.

This particular waterfall was fairly small no more than a 20 foot drop onto very large rocks and the river had a massive boulder right before the fall. I mean, the fall parted around this behemoth stone. The group I was with planned to meet at that rock. What a great idea!~

The current was very strong in this area. (Duh waterfall!) Anyways, I told this nitwit NOT TO PADDLE AT ALL, ESPECIALLY NOT THE DRAW STROKE, and I would take us in. Guess what happened. Yep, he starts drawing as hard as he could. And he flipped the canoe backwards. Now we’re still fine. I mean in about 5 seconds, the stern is a foot over the edge of the waterfall, and I am paddling for all I am worth to keep us up. The moron in the front starts panicking. And I shout , “Whatever you do DON’T FUCKING DRAW, JUST PADDLE FORWARD! And I repeat this about 20 times at the top of my lungs, rapidly pun intended.

See where this is going yet?

So now we are still one foot or so over the fall. I’m screaming “Just DON’T PADDLE.” And we’re still backwards. He draws portside, and the canoe is sideways in an instant. I jump to the starboard, out of the canoe, onto the big rock. Ok, so big improvement, my legs are now dangling over a fucking waterfall… And I’m holding on to this rock with all I’ve got for dear life. And a friend of mine grabs me, pulls me up and literally saves my life. The moron went over the fall. And hits his foot on a rock. I would have hit my head on those rocks because I would have gone in backwards and head first. And then I got yelled at for jumping ship by the guy whose idea it was the meet on the big boulder RIGHT BEFORE A WATERFALL.


Sometimes you just have to fend for yourself.

Coloma's avatar


There should be some sort of device to measure the density of boulder BRAINS! lolol


I flipped in a canoe once too in some rough water, but no waterfalls. Just took about 30 minutes to round up all our gear that went every which way. lol

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