Where did they come from? Why are they so powerful? What gives them power?
There are many types of fears and some of them are quite valid but that is for another post. This post has to do with the silly fears developed in my younger years and are completely ridiculous for the woman I am today.
Lucy and I have had many conversations about fears…mostly mine. She seems to be afraid of nothing. Well, wait a minute; she has a fear of needles…Big Sissy! Anyway, during these discussions I realized that I use to be pretty much, afraid of breathing! Every time a subject came up, I would say, “oh, I use to be afraid…” or “I’m afraid of…” Shoot! Was there anything in my life that I was not afraid of??? These conversations sparked much hysterical laughter and endless daunting from Lucy. But through these conversations I was able to analyze my fears and see them for what they are.
Now granted, most of these fears were based on valid, traumatic incidents that left me scarred as a child and which I carried with me, unaware of how silly they were as an adult, until I actually spoke of them. Ok, just to be fair, some were and still are valid fears. Actually, not so much fears now, just knowledge to be more aware and cautious in life. Ok, and yes, some of them are still straight up fears. Here are a few of my silly ones.
I grew up afraid of being alone. I believed in the “Boogey Man” and I believed he lived under my bed. I was one of those children who turned off the lights and took a flying leap onto the bed and under the covers. I considered myself lucky if my bed was close enough to the light switch that I could get onto the bed and turn off the lights once I had both my feet off the floor. I was afraid of the dark and afraid of everything that went bump in the night.
When I was 5 and we lived in Germany, I remember my parents having a mattress under their bed so that when the Boogey Man chased me out of my room, I could sleep on the mattress on their floor. I also remember being about 15 and home alone, on a stormy night, in a 2-story house. Noises echo when you’re alone. It didn’t help that the dog kept looking up the stairs and freaking me out. I turned the TV up and went and got a carving knife from the kitchen to keep me company until my parents returned.
Even as a young adult with 2 small children, I hated being alone. My (ex)husband was working at nights so I would put the kids to bed and again, run and jump into my bed once the lights were turned off. Yes, a 20-something-year-old woman afraid of the Boggy Man under her bed! I had to have all the doors open, including the bedroom closets, so that I could hear everything. Yep, I was a chicken!
After several years of learning to love and take care of myself, I am no longer afraid of being alone or the Boogey Man under my bed. I enjoy my alone time and my personal space. I can sleep with the doors closed and at times, DARE the Boogey Man to come after me. I’m so ready to kick some Boogey Man butt!
However, progress not perfection, right? Praise God!
I find it so funny that I am no longer afraid of the Boogey Man but I still hold on to fears of: German shepherds, Doberman pinchers, frogs, and fish. Yes, I said it…fish! I will explain my irrational fear of fish in a minute, but first I want to say that the fear of German shepherds and Doberman pinchers is what it is. In my book, once bitten…forever shy. However, my fear of frogs is not really fear. It is more that I am so beyond grossed out by frogs that I practically gag thinking about them! That’s what happens when you jump off the stairs and squish one between your bare toes at the wonderful, impressionable age of 12.
So, back to the fish… I don’t like to eat fish, I don’t like to see fish, and I certainly will never, ever touch a fish! Ok, that was a little dramatic. I will eat fish sticks and tuna fish and I have even owned a fish or two in my life, and at times enjoy looking at them, but touch a fish? No flippin’ way!!!! It all started when I was a wee little child…
No, really it happened when I was 13, visiting relatives in Hawaii. We went to Hanauma Bay to spend the afternoon at the beach and feed the fish. Hanauma Bay is a crater that has partially sunk into the ocean. It is a fish sanctuary and absolutely no fishing is allowed there. Thousands and thousands of people visit this place every year to snorkel and feed the bazillions of fish living there. Some of these fish grow to 4-6 feet in length!
Anyway…my younger cousin told me to put on the mask and watch the fish eat the rice that she put in the water. Trusting soul that I am, I complied. In a flash, a handful of rice was forcefully thrown down into the water, right in front of my face and before I could even blink, I was being swarmed by a gazillion (maybe more) ginormous face eating fish!!! I shot up out of the water, screaming bloody murder, as this school of fish ripped into my flesh! Ok, maybe they weren’t ripping into my flesh but they were biting me everywhere! And yes, fish do bite!
Yes, I have been scarred for life. I do realize, in my rational, sensible mind, that fish normally do not attack people and that they are usually the ones afraid of people. However, in my not-so-rational mind, they are KILLERS! So, I am on a quest to move from the irrational to the rational and be at one with the fish. How that plays out is yet to be seen.