Empty parking garages, roadside motels, dark caves, dank basements, overgrown forests—what kind of setting makes you feel nervous?
For some reason, I seem to feel at ease in places that make a lot of people uneasy, yet I feel uneasy in places that are familiar to a lot of people. Garages, motels, caves, basements, and forests? No problem. When I'm venturing into a creepy old basement or attic with other people, I'm usually the one that goes first, because I'm not scared, and I won't spaz out if there are giant spiders everywhere.
But I really don't like being in cities or shopping malls for very long. The biggest thing for me is that I don't like crowds and strangers. Big groups of people make me anxious, and I will go out of my way to avoid brushing up against anyone. It also freaks me out when strangers approach me, especially if they're trying to sell me something or begging for money. When you add the sensory overload of all the lights and sounds, it all just pounds on my brain, and I sort of revert to "autopilot," where I can function on a basic level but can't think straight and usually avoid talking. If I'm with people at that point, they see me staring off into space and being really quiet, so they ask if I'm ok. But once I leave that environment, I usually snap out of it (eating also helps, because it distracts me and focuses my senses elsewhere). I can take cities and malls in small doses, but there's a certain threshold. If I'm in an uncomfortable place for more then half an hour or so, I totally zone out.