Agoraphobia – FFfAW 3-25-2015

Some people call me a mole because I live inside my four walls (more, if you count all the rooms). The doctors call it agoraphobia. It doesn't matter to me what it's called, I won't go outside; not since my mother was raped and murdered fifteen years ago.

She left to go buy groceries and never returned. They found her battered and lifeless body four miles away in a shallow grave. It damn near killed me.

Some people call my home my prison. It isn't a prison to me. People can't see what I see so they think I'm crazy. My mother comes to visit me often. She tells me stories of her youth and we laugh while we drink tea and eat biscuits.

Most People think I live here all alone. That isn't true. My mother and my late relatives visit me often.

I'm not crazy. Those busybodies are.

(150 words)


Thank you Vanessa Rodriguez for this photo prompt

This story is in response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, week of March 25, 2015. We are given a photo prompt for the base of our stories and challenged to make our stories 150 words (more or less).

If you would be interested in joining this fun flash fiction challenge, please click on this link:

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers



107 thoughts on “Agoraphobia – FFfAW 3-25-2015

  1. Very good. Reminds me of a short story we read in school called The Yellow Wallpaper. ” She’s as sick as she wants to be” but really she is suffering from post partum depression and paranoia much like your character is suffering from agoraphobia and also paranoia. At least she is not alone πŸ™‚

  2. I cannot express how much I love this story. I love my solitude and can see myself living like this. and I would welcome the spirits of my loved ones. Good story!!!

      • Well I had a lot of empathy for you until I knew that if that helps you feel good about the writing. I don’t like labels but if I were to label me I’d say I have agoraphobia that comes from trauma also, so I related to how that would feel.

        • I apologize if I said anything that offended you. It was not intended to offend anyone. In fact, my dear friend is an agoraphobic and I talked to that person and was assured a post about agoraphobia would not offend them. I don’t know if you are happy or unhappy with your situation, but I will say I am sorry about the trauma that happened to cause it. Trauma does different things to different people.

    • Really? You felt her pain? That surprises me. I thought she had created a world of feeling safe and loved. But then, there would have to be some pain to be such a loner from the real world. Thank you for reading and commenting!! (Hugs!) xoxo

    • I just wanted to let you know that I had another person say they could feel the underlying pain in the character in my story, Agoraphobia. So, you are right! The more I think about it, that type of situation should be somewhat painful.

  3. Pain and love together. Pain for the killed mother and love for the talking to her mother/other loved ones. Very good story. Short and dynamic

  4. I can just picture your character sitting there, peeking out from behind those curtains at the world outside from the safety of those four walls.. The part about talking to the spirits adds an extra depth of darkness to the story. Really enjoyed this one Joy!

  5. Short and so effective. Touched my heart. There are many more people living like this than we know of. They are not in as bad a state as others like to believe. In fact they are comfortable in their own world. But only ‘love’ and ‘kindness’ (not pity or mockery) can change the pattern if at some stage it is deemed undesirable by they themselves too.

    • Yes, I agree with you. They are “comfortable” living in this inside world they have created and it is something they have to be willing to change in order to change. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  6. Wow, I love this story! Great development of character. She sounds so normal too! I think you really captured that saying: “Crazy people don’t know they’re crazy.”

  7. Reblogged this on Darque Thoughts and commented:
    Due to multiple, life-long abuses, I suffer from serious agoraphobia – if my gate buzzer goes off, I immediately go into full-blown panic attacks. My sanctuary away from the “real word” is safe. I was hospitalised twice last year & it was a horrific, never-ending nightmare. I wasn’t allowed my iPad in CICU, so had no way of connecting with my “virtual world friends” for distraction…

  8. This is nicely done, Joy. What appears to be sad and lonely is actually her sanctuary, she makes the most of the solitude. I love the line, “It doesn’t matter what it’s called.”

  9. A great story, PJ and very well told. You’ve created a really good character in this woman and presented her so we can see the situation through her eyes. As outsiders, we see her as sad, although she feels content, even happy, with her life now, particularly with her mother’s (ghostly or imagined?) visits.:)

    • Thank you Millie! That is what I wanted to convey – the differences of the POV’s – hers and other peoples. Yes, her world is imagined but to her they are real. So whose to say they are not real? Thank you for your feedback! πŸ™‚

  10. Hello PJ, It’s Ady previously from roundworldnme πŸ˜€ I will be posting new posts from my new site hereafter,a new start for me πŸ™‚ Thank you very much for your kind words earlier and I hope to rekindle our friendship again πŸ™‚

  11. You know I try to read everyone’s every week and since we started I think you’ve much improved πŸ™‚ This had a great hook at the beginning. And although the story arc was short, I thought all the internal stuff was great, I got a good sense of the character and their opinions. Good job!

  12. Great story! I can feel the pain and relief for the daughter. My friends mother was in this type of situation, however, it was not brought on by such tragic circumstances. She was quite happy, but her daughter really had a hard time dealing with it. She was relieve that her mother was happy, yet sad that she could not help her out of the situation.

  13. You have touched on a very individual sad subject here Joy ~ When a person goes into self desired seclusion, they can cut themselves off from the help that is all around. ~ Have a nice weekend ~

  14. Such a good story. As a psych nurse I found the disease very difficult. They are in a catch 22 because they can’t get out to get help and meds. You captured how they cope.

  15. I saw a crime show once where the person being accused of the crime was agoraphobic. I suppose it’s an illness that’s very misunderstood. You explained the reality of what could happen in a traumatic situation. I noticed in another comment that it’s fiction but you gave the story a great deal of realism. Well done … !!!!

  16. Oh wow, i don’t know but this touched in a realistic way. I’ve been watching too many crime documentaries and this story really fits into it.
    And it does seem to me Pj, that despite her hallucinations, she seems happy. Just a feeling πŸ™‚

  17. Oh! I saw crazy written all over this photograph too…
    Your story took a totally different route, Joy. It’s so sad when life, itself, imprisons us. So well done.

  18. I enjoyed reading your story. In fact, I went back and read it a second time thinking that I had missed the point…her visitors are in her imagination. The story is warm yet chilling at the same time. πŸ™‚

  19. Hi!
    My father actually suffered from agoraphobia! He wouldn’t leave his apartment.
    I came over to thank you for visiting my site today. I’m glad you liked my post “7 Ways You Can Increase Your Blog Traffic Using Google.”
    An older post getting new interest? You made my day! Thanks for the visit. Nice to meet you.
    PS, On behalf of my late dad, thank you for giving the problem of agoraphobia exposure.

    • I’m sorry to hear your father had to suffer with this disease, agoraphobia. That must be difficult to have. My post was by no means to put down this affliction. You are welcome! I enjoyed reading your post. I have a lot to learn about blogging and getting exposure.

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