30 Things Part 2: 3 Legitimate Fears

I keep trying to move ahead with the 30 Things series but I sometimes find myself looking at the list and thinking I don’t have interesting to things to say about any of them. I look for one that “speaks” to me and inevitably I just give up and write about something else. So, I’m pushing forward in order. Instead of trying to find the post I want to write about I’ll just start writing on the next topic and see where it goes. Next item on the list: Describe 3 legitimate fears you have and describe how they became fears.

This one was rather difficult for me. Not because I’m not afraid of anything (HA!) but because I have actively worked to remove unnecessary worry from my life. I used to have a lot of anxiety and worry about things quite a bit, but I finally came to the realization that worry doesn’t prevent or solve problems. This didn’t wipe worry away overnight but it did provide me with a starting point and a goal to work toward. Many years later I can honestly say that I don’t worry about much. And since worry is closely linked with fear I had a hard time with this question. When faced with certain things I feel fear but I don’t dwell on them in my life so when trying to think of things to write about I’d think, “Yeah that’s scary when it happens but I’m not afraid of it right now.” That being said, I want to honor the spirit of the challenge, so I’ll give it a shot.

  1. Most people who know me know that I have a rodent phobia. Full blown, completely irrational phobia. The thought of a mouse, rat, hamster, squirrel, etc. actually causes physical revulsion. Typing that made my throat close and caused me to shudder slightly. I hate rodents. So does my mom so that’s probably where the fear began but it got worse when we were building our house. My great uncle was kind enough to let us stay in a small, old farmhouse on his property while we were building. The place was mouse infested. The holes that led outside in the old place were too many to find and close so we had to live with it. I had two toddlers in there while R was off at the new house working. I’d put the kids to bed and sit paralyzed in a chair while I saw mice scurry along the baseboards. I would run and jump from the couch to the bed. Heaven forbid I needed to use the bathroom. I’m trying to work my way through this one but the progress is minimal. I HATE rodents.
  2. Buried deep down I have a fear that my husband or my kids will get cancer. I don’t dwell on it because I’m pretty powerless against it but still it’s there. I sat in a hospital room with my father-in-law about a week before he died when a someone came in to take his medical history. They asked him one by one about his parents and siblings. The answer was the same for nearly every one. Cancer. It was unnerving to think that what was happening to my father-in-law might also happen to my husband and kids. And until I watched it work its horrors on people I cared about I had no idea that the truly horrific thing about cancer is not *that* it kills. It’s *how* it kills; painfully stripping away physical abilities and eventually even taking away the desire to fight. Cancer is a cruel, heartless bastard and sometimes when I get a pang that this fate is waiting for people I love and it really is frightening.
  3. If I’m being really honest I guess I have to admit a fear of failure. I still have that small voice inside telling me not to try certain things because there’s no point- too many other people are more qualified, more deserving, more connected, more talented, luckier or simply better. I continue to avoid certain risks, many times without realizing that’s what I’m doing. I like being good at things. I like people seeing and recognizing the things I’m good at. (I know, I know. Whatever, I’m just being honest here.) When I was little lots of adults in my life gave me praise (and I’m grateful for it, not at all complaining!) and I liked it. I didn’t want to let anyone down so I learned to stick to things I knew I would be good at. The things I knew would make them proud. I’m working on it but it’s hard work, especially when it’s buried so deep and often disguised so well as being practical or realistic instead of fearful. I’ll get there but it will take time.

So, there you have it. Three fears.  That wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought it might be.

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