It’s hard to explain an irrational fear that has slowly grown into a phobia. Some imbalance in your head makes situations seem more dire than they actually are. On some level people understand fears, since every human experiences them, but they don’t always understand irrational fear. Sometimes there’s a genuine basis for fear of unknown places, or being alone in the world. For Jo she’s a very small woman & she’s right to be, at the very least, wary of strangers & careful when alone in the open. That said, she’s not really in much danger in rural Kansas, a block from the police station. Something in her makes her fight or flight instinct go into overdrive in almost any situation that is tense, or unfamiliar. It has shaped her as a person, although most of her friends have no idea to the degree it does. They think she’s shy, & timid, but it runs deeper than that. Jessica has at least some understanding that it’s most likely a disorder, or verging on it. Jo suffers in silence because this kind of thing is looked on as weakness instead of a disorder by the general public, & she has internalized that.
Oh, I forgot to plug the Patreon & Subscribestar at the start. I guess it doesn’t matter if I do it here. I’ll switch it up.